Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade pasta sauce and meatballs

First of all, I'd like to apologize for our lack of posting. We got busy and I got lazy. I'd love to say that this won't ever happen again, but we're only human, so it might. Bear with me, this will be a long post!

Now for the post! Apparently after my no noodle lasagna dinner, I wasn't sufficiently full of pasta sauce so the next dish I made was homemade pasta sauce with chicken meatballs. I think I mentioned that I LOVE red sauce, so just in case you thought I was kidding, this proves I wasn't! I'll also add, I did a WAY better job of taking pictures throughout the cooking process this time. I got so carried away with it that I actually forgot to take a pic of the dish completed and put together-OOPS! Sorry! I started with the marinara sauce but reserved a few of the ingredients I chopped for the chicken meatballs. Typically people cook meatballs in the sauce but I wanted to keep the sauce vegetarian for my lovely sister so I baked my meatballs in the oven.

To get the sauce started I chopped up onions, garlic, basil, and thyme. I added a little oil to the pan and cooked the garlic and onions until the onions looked clear. Then I added the 2 cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes (i would have deglazed the pan with red wine but I was all out). I added a pinch of salt and pepper, the basil and thyme then let it simmer away!

Now for the chicken meatballs. Preheat the oven to 375F. I used ground chicken breast, whole wheat panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, part skim mozzarella cheese, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and onions. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Then roll into small (1 inch) balls and place in baking dish (sprayed with non stick cooking spray). Place baking dish in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. *If you opt to make spaghetti squash then go ahead and put that in the oven now, it will take about 30 minutes more to bake.

I served my pasta sauce and meatballs over the spaghetti squash and topped it with a sprinkle of cheese. I also added a side salad for some extra volume and veggies! All the recipes are below.

bring to a boil then let simmer for a few hours
Marinara Sauce:
-2 large cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes (these aren't no salt added, so make sure you taste before you add salt)
-2 tbsp of chopped thyme
-3 tbsp of chopped basil
-1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
-2 tbsp chopped garlic
-pinch of salt (you can add more if you'd like)
-pinch of pepper

before baking
Chicken Meatballs:
-1 lb of ground chicken breast
-2 tbsp chopped thyme
-2 tbsp chopped basil
-1/8 cup chopped onion
-1 tbsp chopped garlic
-2 pinches of red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
-1/8 cup parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

all done!

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