Saturday, August 27, 2011

Classic Recipes ~ Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is not only my husband's favorite, but it's one of the best sneakily healthy meals kids will eat. My problem is that I typically find it to be a really boring dish. Over the past few years I've found ways to really add some flare and picky eaters won't think twice about shoveling it down. The following recipe is for an Olive and Mushroom tomato sauce and homemade meatballs. If wanting to go vegetarian, omit the meatballs and you still have a wholly satisfying healthy dish.

Sauce
Ingredients
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Medium Onion, cut into thin wedges
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Teaspoon Tomato Paste
1 Cup Sliced Cremini or Button Mushrooms
1 Cup Pimiento Stuffed Olives, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoon Snipped Fresh Oregano or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano, Crushed
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms, olives, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring sauce to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer gently, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meatballs
Ingredients
1 Pound Ground Chuck
4 Ounces Dried Bread Crumbs
4 Large Eggs
4 Ounces Whole Milk
6 ounces Grated Romano
3 Ounces Grated Onion, preferably Spanish Onion
2 Ounces Finely Diced Fresh Garlic
2 Ounces Finely Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley Leaves
2 Ounces Finely Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. If mixture seems a little loose add more bread crumbs. Roll meatballs loosely about the size of a golf ball and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

Cook your pasta of choice according to the package directions, top with meatballs and spoon on lots of sauce. Enjoy!


Optimum Health Suggestions
*Choose whole wheat pasta
*Choose whole wheat bread crumbs
*Choose as many all natural and organic products as you can possibly find
*Use the leanest meats available

Alternate serving suggestions
*Toast hoagie buns and make meatball subs with melted provolone, parmesan or mozzarella on top
*After bringing sauce to a boil and before covering, throw in 4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets. Cover, reduce heat and gently simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and serve with crusty bread slices.
*Use the sauce for other classic Italian dishes such as manicotti, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, etc...