The post I had planned to post today instead of this one started with “Have you ever cooked something so so great thet you instanly knew that you had to post about it even if that means you have to break your schedule?”… but I’m posting these spaghetti & meatballs recipe instead, since these are so awesome that they’re worth ruining my weelky posting schedule a thousand times.
For the record, I just had to google how to write “Spaghetti”.
I don’t even know how to write it in my mother language, oh well.
Back to the “spaghetti” (it sounds so weird, oh my gosh)… Saying that these are fantastic is an understandement. Basically, we’re talking about a comforting dish of pasta and meatballs in a creamy tomato and red pepper sauce that is healthy and can be made ahead as well. See? Too awesome to be put into words.
Spaghetti and meatballs get a healthy makeover with whole wheat pasta, baked chicken meatballs and a tomato and garden vegetable sauce made from scratch. Top them with some good aged manchego or parmesan and you’re in dinner heaven. Oh, and I added roasted garlic as well, and you know how everything tastes x100000 better with the addition of roasted garlic. That stuff is like the brown butter of savory dishes. In other words: terrific.
The sauce alone is so flavorsome that you won’t miss the extra fat and white carbs. Tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, onion, basil, extra-virgin olive oil and a whole head of roasted garlic simmered to perfection and then thickened with a bit of rosemary crusted manchego… Can you think of any better?
Oh, I can see some of you thinking that the meatballs will result dry and tasteless due to the lack of fat and the fact that they’re baked instead of fried. But oh, boy, they’re so juicy! I added an onion to the mix, and the egg makes a wonderful job keeping them tender. Tough meatballs? Not these ones!
Next time you’re craving comfort food, make these instead of their fatty counterparts. Calories saved are calories that you can waste on cookies… I mean, now’s the time for Christmas Cookie Baking and you know you’ll be indulging on lots of sugar and butter laden creations, won’t you? What’s better than a plate full of Skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs to make up for it?
For the sauce:
900 grams (2 Ib.) tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
1 medium zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 head of garlic
50 grams parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil for the pan
For the meatballs:
600 grams ground chicken breasts
50 grams whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful of parsley
a drizzle of olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
a dash of black pepper
300 grams dry spaghetti (cooked)
extra shredded parmesan
You can make the meatballs ahead of time and they can even be frozen and thawed the day you bake them.
Add ground chicken, salt, pepper, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, minced onion and garlic to a bowl.
Mix with your hands until fully combined.
Form balls with your hands, and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes so they hold their shape better.
Bake at 200ºC (400 F) for 20-25 minutes or until cooked trough.
Roast the garlic at the same time that you’re baking the meatballs.
Add all of the sauce ingredients except for the cheese to a food proccesor and pulse until pureed.
Heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan. When it’s hot, add the vegetable puree.
Simmer for 30-35 minutes until all the juice evaporates.
Stir shredded cheese.
Add cooked pasta and baked meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
When still warm, add extra shredded cheese and fresh basil to garnish.
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend! I myself can’t complain, as mine involved layer cake making since it’s mum’s birthday today (happy birthday, mum!!) and a lovely brunch. I’ll be posting about them later this week, but these spaghetti were so good that I had to tell you about them. How about you? Did you cook anything amazing this weekend?
And I’m still looking for a new recipe plugin. Any suggestions? The Get Me Cooking one won’t work for me, and I’ve recently tried Recipe Card just to find out that it messes up with my blog and I get the “death blank page or whatever it’s called”, it’s so annoying!