Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Individual Baked Pastas with Mini-Meatballs

A couple of weeks ago, Maria posted a recipe for Individual Baked Pastas on her blog, Two Peas and Their Pod. Check out her post to see how she prepared her baked pastas and her method of throwing them together. I took her idea and ran with it.
I decided to make some mini-meatballs out of lean ground turkey and throw them into the pasta. I also made a pasta sauce with the veggies I had in my fridge.
I already had some whole wheat pasta that was cooked, waiting to be used. So, I made the meatballs and sauce, and then threw all the ingredients together and topped them with cheese. I made them in little ramekins and put the leftover meatballs in the freezer. The best thing about this recipe or idea is that you can make it your own by adding whatever veggies you want or using your favorite sauce or cheese. My kids were crazy about this dinner. It is always more fun when you have your own little dish of pasta.

Mini-Meatballs by Mary Ann
16 oz lean ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
1- 10 oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. I like to use my hands to evenly distribute the ingredients. Form into mini- meatballs and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Watch them closely, though, you don't want them to get tough.
Garden Pasta Sauce by Mary Ann
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbls fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 Tbls fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
In a large dutch oven, heat 1 Tbls olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, green pepper, and zucchini. Saute for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil and them reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste, with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, if necessary.
To assemble baked pasta- combine cooked pasta, sauce and meatballs in a large bowl. You could also add cheese. Or you can add the pasta, sauce and cheese in layers. Spoon into prepared ramekins (you could also use a large 9x13-inch dish) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Up next- Craving Ellie- Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip


Marie said...

Everything you make always looks so delicious Mary Ann!! These are no exception! WOW!

Maria said...

Glad you tried the baked pasta! I love the individual servings too!! Good job!!!

Jessica said...

The pasta sauce looks incredible -- I love all of the veggies in it. I'm going to try this soon! Thanks for the wonderful idea.

Cheri said...

I made these for dinner because it looked so good and nutrious. It turned out great. I did it all in one crock because I don't have the individual ones but Im thinking Im going to go buy some just for this recipe.

pinkstripes said...

Your sauce looks wonderful with all the veggies. You take great pictures!

Barbara Bakes said...

Sounds delicious. I love that you frozen some to use later - such a time saving idea!

The Blonde Duck said...

We do a lot of individual things here in the Pond b/c there's only two of us. These look wonderful!

Sophie said...

That's such a cute idea, it almost allows for an at-home buffet. I love turkey meatballs, especially when they've got lots of veggies!

Carrian said...

We just had meatballs the other night, but these look lighter which I love. They look so delicious!

Colleen said...

This looks amazing! And I love that they are individuals! I have yet to try turkey meatballs with spinach but I want to very soon!