Beef, Mains, Pasta

Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

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This could serve 4-5 people generously or feed 2 for 3 days. I use 1/3 of meatballs for sauce and freeze the rest for later. And, obviously, you have to make spaghetti to go with this.

Meatballs:

  • 1 lbs. ground pork
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 small onion, minced in food processor
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ~1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ~1 tsp salt, pepper
  • optional: dried oregano, Italian spice mix, cumin…
  1. Mix everything together, but don’t over mix 🙂
  2. Form into balls (2 tbsp sized) and brown on stovetop (if intending to finish cooking  in sauce) OR bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes to freeze.

Sauce:

  • 1 onion, food processed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed + 1 can diced tomatoes (use the large cans)
  • salt, pepper 
  • 1 tbsp sugar*
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • optional: dried oregano, crushed red pepper, garlic powder… 

*if you don’t want to add sugar, you can substitute a grated carrot and saute it at the start with the onion.

  1. Saute onion and a dash of salt in olive oil until translucent or browned.
  2. Add tomato paste and garlic. Saute for a minute or two.
  3. Stir in canned tomatoes. Cover and simmer until you are done browning the meatballs.
  4. Add meatballs and spices/sugar/salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. When ready to serve, stir in fresh basil and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Toss with cooked spaghetti. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil over the top (if desired).
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Pasta, Petit Bites, Vegetables

Artichoke Pasta

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 tbps butter
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • fresh pasta/egg noodles
  1. Make pasta.
  2. Saute garlic and artichoke hearts in a skillet with melted butter and olive oil.
  3. Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
  4. Toss in pasta.   Add more butter or lemon juice to taste.
  5. Finish with salt and pepper.

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Pasta, Petit Bites, Salads, Sides

Labor Day Macaroni Salad

Because the end of Summer should be celebrated with some kind of picnic salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry macaroni
  • diced celery *
  • mined red onion, washed (to take the sting out) *
  • 1/2 cup of peas*
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp sour cream
  • salt & pepper

* add amounts to your liking.  I’m using 1/2 a red onion and 2 celery stalks.

Method:

  1. Cook the macaroni.  Rinse with cold water.
  2. Mix mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt & pepper in a large bowl.  Toss with macaroni, peas, onion, and celery.
  3. It’s best served ASAP.  You can make it ahead of time, and keep it in the fridge for a few days. Or you can wait until just before serving to mix the dressing in with the rest.

I’m serving this alongside sliders (mini-burgers with cheddar and pickle).

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Mains, Pasta, Vegetables

Butternut Squash-Leek Pasta Casserole

I learned this recipe from a CSA box pamphlet a few years ago.  It’s fairly cheap to make and very filling, vegetarian, & delicious!  I usually halve the recipe to make dinner for 2 and I freeze the second half of the cooked butternut squash to use later. This is more of a casserole dish, if you want a spaghetti-style pasta with butternut squash and leek sauce, here is a nice looking recipe I found on Lucullian delights.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, baked
  • 2-3 leeks green and white parts, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 lb. of pasta (penne, shells, elbow, ziti, etc)
  • ~1  cup shredded jack or mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
  • dried basil (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup  of white wine (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • oil or butter
  • salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Bake butternut squash: slice squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, place cut side down in a pan of 1/2 inch high water, and bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes. Scoop out the squash when cooled.
  2. Cook the pasta, but remove it from the hot water 2-3 minutes before it’s done cooking. You don’t want to the pasta to overcook in the oven.
  3. In a stock pot, saute the leeks and garlic in oil until translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cooked butternut squash and wine to the pan and mix to make a thick sauce.
  5. Add the pasta and basil to the pan and mix well.
  6. Pour into a casserole dish and top with cheese.  Place under the broiler until the cheese melts.  Alternatively, you could mix in the cheese and melt it in the pan to avoid the casserole dish and oven altogether (though if you do this, remember to cook the pasta all the way).
  7. Serve on chilly, overcast days 🙂

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Mains, Pasta, Vegetables

Green Bean Pasta

When all I had was  1/4 package of spaghetti but wanted pesto pasta—frozen green beans came to the rescue!  This recipe is yummy, healthy, fast, and EASY (Brian–this post is for you!).

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 package frozen green beans, cooked and chopped
  • spaghetti, cooked
  • a handful of almonds
  • a few  basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Finely chop the basil and almonds.  Toss with green beans and spaghetti.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Top with Parmesan cheese and salt & pepper.
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