Saturday, April 19, 2008

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Super Stuffed Meatballs

I don't have cable TV. I hardly ever watch anything, but rarely I sneak in the last 15 minutes of Rachael Ray's Talk Show because I know that is when she is cooking. I saw her make these giant meatballs (hers were much larger than these) and she stuffed them with mini mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes. This is my take on her Caprese Stuffed Meatballs.

This was our night before the half-marathon dinner! Carbs, Carbs and more Carbs

I wanted to make my meatballs smaller than hers, so I used grape tomatoes and chunks of fresh mozzarella that I cut myself.

Makes 16-20 "big" meatballs
3 pds ground turkey, 93% lean
3 Tbls onion, shredded from a small onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 Tbls Italian seasoning
8-10 grape tomatoes
8-10 cubes fresh mozzerella
the rest of the onion, chopped
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, seasoned with oregano and basil
2 14- oz can diced tomatoes,seasoned with olive oil and garlic
1 8-0z can tomato sauce
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
zest of 1 lemon
16 oz Whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked

For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together with hands, until all ingredients are evenly mixed. Divide meat into 16-20 sections. Grab a section and flatten it with your hand. Press down in the middle and insert either a piece of mozzarella or a grape tomato. Close the meat mixture around the cheese or tomato and make sure it is sealed. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and make the rest of the meatballs in the same way. Drizzle meatballs with a little olive oil and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until meat is cooked all the way through.
For the sauce: Heat 1 Tbls olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the rest of the onion and saute until tender and slightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Add all the tomatoes and tomato sauce and cover. Bring to a low boil and turn off the heat. Puree the sauce in batches in the blender and place in a large bowl. Stir in the pesto and lemon zest.
To serve: Place noodles and sauce on a plate, Top with 1-2 meatballs and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6 + lots of leftovers