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Monday, March 28, 2011

Beef and Sweet Pepper Pasta

ingredients

  • 1 recipe Mealmaker Meatballs (see recipe below)
  • 8 ounces dried pappardelle pasta or fettuccine
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into thin, bite-sized strips
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly bias-sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
  • 1 26-ounce jar spicy red pepper pasta sauce or mushroom and ripe olive pasta sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Italian fontina or mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup)

directions

  1. Prepare and bake Meatballs. In a large pot or kettle cook pasta according to package directions until just tender; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet cook fennel, onion, carrots, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Return pasta to cooking pot. Add vegetable mixture, meatballs, and pasta sauce to pasta; toss to coat. Heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with the shredded cheeses. Serves 6.
  3. Cooking Club Directions: Prepare as above, except do not heat vegetables and pasta through. Divide pasta-meatball mixture and transfer to 4-quart storage containers or 1-gallon resealable plastic bags for each member of the club. Divide cheese in resealable plastic bags. Refrigerate pasta mixture and cheese up to 2 days. To freeze, transfer to 4-quart freezer containers or 1-gallon moisture- and vapor-proof plastic freezer bags. Freeze up to 1 month.
  4. Make Ahead (Freeze): Prepare as above, except do not heat through. Transfer to a large freezer container or 1-gallon moisture- and vapor-proof plastic freezer bag. Cover container or seal bag. Place cheese in a self-sealing freezer bag. Freeze pasta mixture and cheese up to 1 month. To serve, thaw pasta mixture and cheese in refrigerator 1 to 2 days or until completely thawed. Transfer pasta mixture to a 3-quart microwave-safe casserole. Micro-cook, covered, on 100 percent power (high) for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through, gently stirring every 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as above.
  5. Test Kitchen Tip: You can cook a double batch of the vegetables by using a 12-inch skillet; the vegetables will cook in 15 minutes
  6. Reheating and Serving: Thaw pasta mixture, if frozen, and cheese in refrigerator for 1 to 2 days or until completely thawed. Transfer refrigerated or thawed pasta mixture to a 3-quart microwave-safe casserole; add 1_4 cup water. Micro-cook, covered, on 100% power (high) for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through, gently stirring every 5 minutes. Serve as above.
  7. Mealmaker Meatballs: 1 egg, beaten; 1-1/4 cup soft French or Italian bread crumbs; 1/4 cup finely chopped onion; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon dried oregano or dried thyme, crushed; 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; and 1 pound lean ground beef. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; set aside. In a large bowl combine the egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add beef; mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs (about 1 tablespoon mixture per meatball). Arrange meatballs in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Drain off fat. Makes 24 meatballs. *Note: Use a blender or food processor to make soft breadcrumbs. About 1-1/2 ounces of break makes 1 cup of crumbs. Test Kitchen Tip: The job is quick when one person makes the meatballs while others perform other tasks. Set aside a spot at the kitchen table for the meatball maker to sit. Each meatball: 41 cal, 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 21 mg chol., 71 mg sodium, 1 g carbo., 0 g fiber, 4 g pro.

1 comments:

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