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Author Notes: This discovery came to me while contemplating making a lasagna vs. spaghetti/meatballs. Essentially, lasagna can be thought of as an all-in-one, combo meal...so why not make spaghetti and meatballs too? This recipe incorporates all of the components in one, super-flavorful, yummy ball! —Mariya
- 2 cups bowtie pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion-small dice
- 1 tablespoon garlic-minced
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef-grass fed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1/2 cup dried currants (or diced dried cranberries or apricots)
- 1/4 cup pistachios-shelled
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1.5 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store bought-organic)-divided
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1.5 tablespoons black pepper
- In a saucepan, cook pasta according to directions; if you typically like it al dente, cook it 2 minutes longer this time; remove from heat, drizzle with 1 T olive oil (so it doesn't stick), and reserve.
- Heat 2 T olive oil in a pan and add onions; cook until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer; remove contents of the pan and reserve.
- In a large bowl, mix onion/garlic mixture, ground beef, eggs, paprika, nutmeg, cayenne, oregano, currants, pistachios, cheese, half of the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Working in batches, dice bowties on a cutting board.
- Add to the beef mixture and mix well.
- Roll mixture into 1 to 2 inch balls.
- On medium, heat 1 T olive oil in a pan and add meat balls to the pan; add the remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce to the pan and cook for ~10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatballs