Friday, October 26, 2012

Lighter Spaghetti and Meatballs

We had our technology needs figured out in our motor home until our "hotspot" decided to die on us earlier this week.  Gerry actually attended a conference for a couple of days and then proceeded to hang out at various Starbucks with computer connectivity to get his work done.  I, on the other hand, decided to be a slug and just hang out reading books for most of the week.  I am in the process of re-reading my Mitford series of books.  I started reading them Sunday night and I'm just getting ready to start the fourth book in the series since I just can't seem to put them down.  I did manage to keep cooking during our computer down time, I just couldn't post anything.  The hotspot was replaced with a brand new one that was shipped out quite quickly and we are now back in business.

I love the feel of fall in the air which makes me crave slow, home-cooked foods which is why I made spaghetti and meatballs.  This recipe did manage to lighten it and make it healthier by using whole wheat spaghetti, ground turkey for the meatballs, and a fairly light tomato sauce.  I'm glad I didn't let the "lighter" label stop me from trying this recipe since it was really flavorful and filling.  This comes in at 390 calories per serving.

Lighter Spaghetti and Meatballs
Makes 8 servings (about 12 cups)

1 1/4 pound ground turkey breast
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
3 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons dry whole-grain bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 recipe Simple Spaghetti Sauce (recipe follows)
1 package whole-grain spaghetti

Combine turkey, onion, bell pepper, scallions, Parmesan, basil, yogurt, garlic, breadcrumbs, black pepper and salt in a large bowl.  Shape mixture into 24 balls.

Heat sauce in a large pot over medium until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet with nonstick spray.  Brown meatballs in two batches over medium-high heat.  Nestle meatballs in sauce in pot; simmer over medium heat, 30 minutes.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions; drain and serve with meatballs and sauce.

Simple Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 8 servings (about 5 cups)

1/2 cup grated onion (plus any juices)
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 can no-salt-added tomato sauce (15 ounces)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil

Sweat onion and carrot in oil in a large pot over medim heat until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Add tomato paste, garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce; cook until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Add basil right before serving.

Slightly adapted from Cuisine at Home, September/October 2012

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