Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tasty and Not Greasy Meatballs Pasta Sauce over Fettuccini

Which Meat?

 I’ve experimented with different compositions of meat:

100% beef-just not flavorful enough
Blend of Pork/Beef- not bad but I find that it’s the pork that makes it more tasty (just my preference)
Turkey – not bad, a healthier option, but it lacks that ‘je ne sais quoi’-actually what we call ‘flavor’ (even with good seasoning choices)-but it’s not a bad alternative….
Lamb – I love lamb but many don’t. Lamb has to be cooked just right, but otherwise it has a gross side flavor.  Either way, good ground lamb is hard to find (at least around here) and some people really hate it, so it’s not a good choice for every day dinner.
Chicken – I think ground chicken makes the most flavorful, yet healthy meatballs

I prefer, Kosher Ground Chicken.  This is the most flavorful ground chicken I’ve eaten.  After researching this, I realized that this flavor is due to the Kosher method of processing the meat.  It’s sort of like brining. I can only find Kosher Valley at Whole Foods.  The ground chicken goes fast (I've had to call the butcher and they only get this delivered on Fridays-by Saturday they are mostly gone).  While not the cheapest, it is very tasty and doesn't have chemicals (hormones and antibiotics).

How to Prepare?

I’ve pan-fried meatballs but don’t like the grease factor and the time it takes to pan-fry and continuously turn them. Recently on Diners, Drive Inns & Dives (Food Network), I saw these great meatballs that were baked.  I’ve heard of baking meatballs but never tried it.

Baked chicken meatballs


½+ c. breadcrumbs
¼ c soy or non-dairy milk
Chopped parsley (optional)
2 eggs
Hint of maggi (optional-it’s a German flavor type ingredient-sort like Worchester sauce or soy sauce)

1 tsp. organic onion flakes
½ tsp. organic garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
Some freshly ground pepper
1-2 tsp of 365 Organic Ketchup (not only is this ketchup healthier, but it also won in taste tests conducted by Chicago Tribune)-optional. I forgot to add this once and it still tasted great.

Paprika (to sprinkle on meatball after it's on baking sheet)

Pasta sauce (home made, or even a shortcut one)

16 oz. organic fettuccini (or another noodle)

Gently beat 2 eggs and combine with meatball ingredients (exclude pasta sauce and fettucini).

Line a pan with foil (if you can find non-stick) and spray with a cooking spray (I use Spectrum).  Make balls (roughly walnut size-they will expand). Sprinkle lightly with paprika.  Bake on 375 for about 30 minutes (may need to turn the meatballs about 2/3 into the cooking cycle).

Remove meatballs from oven and simmer with pasta sauce for about 15-20 minutes (or more if you have time).

Cook fettuccini a la dente (it’s not just a joke in the movie My Cousin Vinny). Most pasta I've eaten in restaurants is way too mushy.

Drain pasta, shock with cold water and reheat with some olive oil.

Serve hot fettuccini and pour meatball sauce over it. 

There are no leftovers with this dinner.

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