Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spaghetti with Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs

Tuesday is the day that our daughter Elizabeth comes over with a couple of friends for grading papers and a home-cooked meal. Tonight was spaghetti and meatballs with a twist - the meatball mixture was wrapped around a cube of mozzarella cheese and then cooked in the tomato sauce. I used Barilla Plus spaghetti which I think is a good compromise between regular and whole wheat. I love regular pasta and I know the health benefits of whole wheat are great; I just don't like the taste and texture of whole wheat pastas. Since this one is a multigrain pasta, 2 ounces of this pasta has 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber vs. 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber for regular Barilla spaghetti and it tastes great.

This was a very good and simple recipe to prepare - definitely a weeknight dinner option and in the process of catching up with the girls, I totally forgot to photograph our dinner, so no picture tonight.

Spaghetti with Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs
Adapted From Annie's Eats, originally from Rachel Ray

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, 2 smashed and 1 chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 pound ground sirloin
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
1 pound pasta

Soak bread crumbs in milk; set aside.

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and smashed garlic, cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer.

Add beef, chopped garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg and 1 tsp. salt to bread crumbs. Stir with a fork until mixed. Use about 2 tablespoons of the mixture to form a meatball around a cube of mozzarella. Place meatballs in sauce so they are submerged. Raise heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti.

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