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Day 123: Fusilli with (Spinach) Meatballs

Fusilli+with+meatballsMy niece, Emily, spent the day here today, and we plotted to invent something completely (but probably not really) new for dinner: meatball pizza. I started to thaw a chunk of lean ground beef (wish I had bison) and a block of frozen spinach (to hide inside) when my sister remembered that E had soccer practice and they had to leave right away.

So it’s meatballs for two. Mike left for Tofino this morning, so I had half anticipated a weekend of grilled cheese and eggs on toast. But this works – a stash of meatballs in the freezer is a good thing when you’re only cooking for one or two, especially if one of the two has small hands and is a ravenous carnivore.

Meatballs also make a good vehicle for healthy stuff; the aforementioned spinach, the heel slice of a loaf of whole wheat bread, whizzed to crumbs, an egg, the merest sprinkle of ground flax seed (I have to step carefully here, lest I scar W the way my Dad did me by¬†making sawdust burgers out of half extra-lean ground beef and half oat bran), and some grated Parmesan cheese. I rolled the mixture into balls and froze most of them on a cookie sheet, saving a few to brown in my skillet. I had half a can of diced tomatoes in the fridge and so poured that overtop once the meat had a crunchy exterior, thinking I’d do my sauce in the proper Italian way, using just tomatoes, and finish cooking the meatballs at the same time. But it seemed to me it wouldn’t taste like much, so I panicked a little and stirred in a spoonful of pesto.

I chose fusilli only because it’s driving me crazy that I at any given time have about 8 kinds of dried pasta in various shapes on my shelf, each bag or box about 1/4 full.

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6 comments on “Day 123: Fusilli with (Spinach) Meatballs

  1. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench
    May 3, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Oooo, now these look great! I bought some mince the other day with the intention of turning it into meatballs, but I was a bit put off by them being…well, just minced meat :/ With the addition of spinach, I think this recipe will be the one to try :)

  2. maplesugar
    May 5, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Those meatballs look delicious! My kids love the PC Blue Menu chicken meatballs… I think it’s time I tried making them at home. I have the same pasta issue you do. Every once and awhile I make pantry soup with the leftover bits, breaking up the bigger pieces so they’re about the same size as macaroni… it’s a good way to use up leftover veggies too :)

  3. Michelle
    September 22, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Hi Julie,
    This recipe looks great – just a quick question – Do you bake these in the oven? At what temperature? If I am making them on the stove top how long do they need? sorry, I’m a novice cook! Thanks,
    Michelle

  4. Laurie
    September 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    These meatballs were great! I had some ground pork and beef in the freezer to use up and they turned out great after baking in the oven. Thanks!

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