Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mamma Mia Meatballs

Kids are now back to school and we're all trying to get back to routine. Which means dinner is also going to be more calculated. I know I should take a trip to the store but I'm feeling a bit tired and lazy after a full March break. There was lean ground pork and beef sitting in the freezer, some fresh basil left from a homemade pizza lunch, a zucchini and always a jar of tomato sauce and box of pasta in the cupboard. Okay, life is good... this calls for none other than pasta and meatballs. This is how I make mine super moist and tender.

I love the combination of different ground meats when making meatballs or meat patties. Their flavours complement each other and you get delicious results. Throw equal portions of ground pork and beef (about 1/2 lb. each) into a large bowl. Break in an egg. Season with salt and ground black pepper.

2) The secret to the moistness is bread and milk! Take a piece of bread soaked in milk and break it into the meat mixture. Toss everything together to blend well. Using your hand and fingers really does the job!

3. Grate the zucchini and squeeze most of the liquid out (a medium yields about a cup drained). Half was mixed into the meat mixture and the rest will go in the tomato sauce. Cook the pasta and set to drain. 

4. Use two spoons to shape the meatballs into 1-1/2 inch. Pan fry in 1 Tbsp. olive oil on medium-high heat until browned. 


 5. Tilt the pan, to carefully drain out the excess oil and pour in the tomato sauce. Stir in the zucchini and cook until boiling, then simmer until heated through.

6. Serve with fresh chopped basil and slices of French baguette. I put out parmesan cheese for the kids and hubby. 

My son in the middle, Sébastien wasn't interested at first. He came to the table expecting long noodles but instead he saw penne. I had to coax him to come eat by telling him that spaghetti was so ordinary and not everyone gets to have special cut pasta like penne, because the tubes are like a telescope- you can see through them. He chuckled and came to the table willingly and ate everything on his plate. Kids often have this expectation of what food should look like because of what they are use to, but when you change it up and make something fun or unique out of it, you may just win their appetite!

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