Pasta with Ricotta Meatballs

Regular readers of this blawg might be wondering.....Girl.  Where are the recipes?  What are you eating?   

Well...I'm not really sure.  Nothing to good, though, that's for damn. 

Well, that's not completely true.  I had some pizza from Lillos on Sunday night and if you're familiar with it you know that was good.  There's also been a semi-classy sandwich or two and this dish I'm sharing with you today.  But we'll get to that in a minute.

Let's talk about cooking.  Just like everything, we all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to cooking.  My strengths are:  casseroles, breads, pasta, basically any member of the carb family.  My weaknesses are:  meats and veggies, rice, timing everything to finish at once, lite and healthy meals.  Since we've recently acquired 1/16 of a 4H pig, I've been trying to do lots of pork and veggie meals.  Since that's not one of my strong suits, you can imagine that it's not going all that well.  But I'm trying; it's getting better.  Up on deck for this week is ranch pork chops which is, wait for it, some pork chops with a ranch packet sprinkled over them.  If I mess that up I might need to hang up my apron.  

But here's what I haven't messed up:  the 4H bacon.  Shut your mouth it's amazing.  A-MAY-ZING.  I'm not really one of those yes, this is lovely, but it would be better with bacon.  This 4H bacon, though, is out of this world and I might start to serve it with everything.  There are two pieces left in my fridge right now and it makes me nervous to think they'll soon be gone.  

So I leave you today with this pasta dish.  It was good, real good, as it's one of my strengths.  You may think it's a bit involved but its really not!  I made it in a Thursday with not to much fuss.  Enjoy!     
Pasta with Ricotta Meatballs
slightly adapted from Cooking Light

9 oz pasta
1 oz Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko
1/3 cup part skim ricotta
6 oz ground beef (90% lean)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, grated
cooking spray
2 cups marinara sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  

While water for pasta is boiling, combine two tablespoons of cheese and the rest of the ingredients through the garlic.  Shape the mixture into 16 1 inch meatballs.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat the pan with cooking spray and add the meatballs.  Cook for 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.  Add marinara, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for five minutes or until meatballs are done.  Remove pan from heat, remove meatballs from pan with a slotted spoon.  Add pasta to pan and toss to coat.  Top meatballs with remaining two tablespoons of cheese.

To serve, place 1 cup of pasta mixture and 4 meatballs into a bowl. 

Serving size 1 cup pasta + 4 meatballs
Points plus 9

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