Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Holy Meatball!

by Anita

There are some days when you want a meatball. "Ahh tasty ahh meat-ah-balla" (said in in my best Italian accent). Well, as a part of the "Real Food Challenge" that I have tried out (with some success), the first day of my challenge I made a simple, yet delicious whole wheat pasta with a red sauce and homemade meatballs. The end result was a healthy and nutritious dinner that can stretch your dollar for a few days if you make the whole pound of pasta. Leftover pasta is always the best!

To check myself and to be honest with you, eliminating all processed foods is a process in itself but if you have a partner in crime to take on that challenge then it can be done as long as you have the right snacks in place. HA! My boyfriend took on the challenge with me and went to the grocery store on his own to gather the ingredients for our dinner. One minor road bump was the search for WHOLE WHEAT bread crumbs--prepared--and ready to purchase. That was not found at our grocery store. So we got creative and just eliminated bread crumbs all together from this recipe to eliminate the "un-real" foods for the night. We also steamed some fresh broccoli to have as a side dish.

Enjoy this for dinner by yourself or make it with some friends with a delicious glass of Malbec, Pinot Noir or Chianti. 



  • 1 lb whole-wheat pasta
  • Red pasta sauce (Organic Tomato Basil Sauce)
  • 1 lb ground beef (Laura's lean beef)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; and extra for garnish.
  • ½ cup carrot bits (diced and chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce (Gluten Free used)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (Substituted with dried Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Onion Salt, Pepper)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Whole wheat noodles take longer.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  3. Mix together ground beef and next 8 ingredients. This is where you get your hands dirty to mix all the ingredients. :)
  4. Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil to cover the pan.
  5. Roll the beef mixture into meatballs the size of golf balls. Place them in rows onto the greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until brown all the way through. 
  7. Ready to eat? Serve meatballs on top of cooked pasta and warm pasta sauce. 
Serves: 5 
The base ingredients for the meatballs: beef, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic, cheese,  & carrots (omit bread crumbs)

Some of the tasty liquids: Tomato Basil pasta sauce, Red Wine Vinegar & Soy Sauce used in the meatballs

Don't watch the water boiling or else...

In a bowl, mix all of your base ingredients and liquids along with the diced carrots

Down and dirty with the meat balls!
The rolled up and baked meatballs ~ about 1 - 1.5 inches

A quick and easy side dish: steamed chopped broccoli. Add some extra grated Parmesan cheese on top! 

Mix your baked meatballs in with your warmed up pasta sauce and  cooked whole wheat pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese for a garnish.

My taste tester LOVES his broccoli!
 This dinner was a quick and super easy meal to prepare and you can certainly make a big batch of meatballs and freeze them for that lazy dinner day. Bon Apetito!

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