Friday, January 15, 2010

Easy Tips for Weeknight: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tonight I made a quick and easy version of spaghetti and meatballs.

Out of breadcrumbs, no problem! When I pulled out my ingredients, I remembered that I'm out of breadcrumbs. Not to fear! I used the heels from the whole wheat bread loafs that we already have on hand. You drop in the bread in the food processor and give it a whirl for about 1 minute until you have crumbs. Using fresh bread, your crumbs will be soft, moist, and airy. Even better, you can avoid the additives found in traditional store-bought breadcrumbs like hydrogenated fats and use better quality ingredients that you might throw away anyway! That's cost savings that is good for your health, too!

Easy meatballs under the broiler. Check out my previous post for a foolproof method for making meatballs under the broiler. For tonight's meal, I made them the same way in that post, but I didn't have fresh herbs on hand. I used dried Italian herbs, 2 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tbs tomato paste, minced onion, 1 egg, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper. Check my recipe on the post for the breakdown of ingredients. It's always easier for me to make meatballs under the broiler because they hold their shape and cook so quickly.

Comfort food in a snap! This meal was not only healthy, quick and easy, but also kid-friendly. Here is how it came together:

Mix and form the meatballs with the ingredients and placed them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook meatballs under the broiler, see my original recipe post. While forming meatballs bring 2 medium pots filled with water to a boil.

Pour a jar of your favorite marinara sauce in a large pot and warm it slowing on the back of the stove.

Add veggies such as sugar snap peas in a pot too blanch (4-5 minutes) and add 8 oz of pasta to the other pot and cook per package instructions. I used whole wheat pasta for my meal.

Flip the meatballs to the other side and cook about 2 more minutes. When ready, add to the large pot with marinara sauce.

Drain pasta and veggies. Season veggies with a small amount of butter, salt and pepper. Serve it up! The entire meal takes about 45 minutes start to finish.

Plan ahead for leftovers: For tonight, I made enough for 4 servings so we have 2 servings in the fridge for a quick meal to reheat. Aaron and I put the leftovers away in individual servings so it's easy to grab the meal and go!

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