Easy meatballs and pasta...
I arrived home one night this week only to remember I had not given any thought to dinner, nor had I made it to the grocery store. That meant I had to hit the freezer and pantry for something worthwhile to eat. It was chilly, too, so I wanted something on the heartier side. I pulled out some hamburger, grabbed a box of fettuccine, a can of diced tomatoes and a jar of spaghetti sauce. I defrosted some hamburger quickly thanks to my awesome microwave defroster setting and set about making some meatballs. I could have just browned the hamburger and made spaghetti, I know, but I really wanted something a little different, with a fresher taste ~ not exactly easy when you're working from pantry and freezer staples. I envisioned some good meatballs with a little pasta and tomatoes and this is what I came up with. All of the measurements are approximations, as I just threw it together. Think of this more as a guide than an exact recipe. Oh, and if you think meatballs take forever, they don't. Dinner was cooked and eaten in under an hour. And it was quite good.
Easy Meatballs and Pasta
Serves 2-4, depending on portion sizes
3/4 to 1 pound of hamburger
Seasoned bread crumbs – about 1/3 cup, or whatever you need to help hold everything together
1/2 cup or so shredded monterey jack cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with your hands. Roll meatballs into desired size and place on a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet with sides that is sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until done. Be careful not to overcook the meatballs as they will dry out.
While the meatballs are baking, boil water for pasta and prepare the sauce.
For the sauce, mix together one can of good petite diced tomatoes and a half jar or so of your preferred spaghetti sauce (or two cans of tomatoes and some tomato paste). Season with oregano and rosemary, if desired. Bring to a boil and then simmer.
Once meatballs are cooked and pasta is drained, (I used fettuccine, but spaghetti would be fine), plate and serve hot. Great with a salad and some good crusty bread.