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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Meatballs w/Veggies Pasta

Probably about two months ago, we went to this HUGE candy store that specializes in novelty candies as well as other items, and purchased a bag of squid ink pasta. We have been dying to use it in a recipe and last night figured, what the heck. Now my idea of what I was going to be making was completely different then what we ended up doing, but it was still yummy. My vision, was a garlic seafood dish, with clams, mussels and shrimps...in a lemon, wine butter sauce. What we ended up with, as you can see from the pictures, was a far cry from my original idea, but I didn't want to go to the grocery store. Call it laziness, call it being frugal, I ended up working with what I had in the fridge!

Meatballs
2 lbs ground beef
½ cup bread crumbs
3 cloves black garlic
2 eggs
3 cups fresh spinach, blanched and chopped
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Sauce
1 tbsp crushed red peppers
1 pkg crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cups white wine
3 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp sage
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chipotle
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the fresh spinach and blanch for about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove and drain completely. Chop. For the meatballs, in a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, including the spinach and mix well. Make about 1 ½ inch balls and set aside. In a large Dutch oven, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and bring up to medium heat. Place the meatballs in the oven and brown on all sides, making sure not to overcrowd. Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside. In the drippings, add the onions and sauté till translucent. Add the garlic and the peppers. Sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking till mushrooms are soft. Add the butter and let melt. Deglaze with the wine and make sure all of the bits from the meatballs have been scraped off the bottom. Add the chicken stock and all of the spices. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the kale and drop the meatballs back into the mix and let simmer for about 10 more minutes making sure the meatballs have cooked all the way through. Right before serving, SLOWLY mix in the grated Parmesan cheese, a bit at a time making sure to stir in completely, or it will seize on you and form a big clump. Server over pasta!