East Meets West Spaghetti with meatballs

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I love meatballs, they are so versatile, you can make and serve them in SO MANY different ways. I like to make lots of meatballs and Foodsaver them and keep them in the freezer, then I can just pull them out for a quick and easy dinner. And you don't just have to serve meatballs with pasta, I make florentine meatballs and serve them in mac and cheese, I do meatball subs, I make giant meatballs and serve them with a side salad. I don't like the taste of beef so I mostly use ground turkey, but you can use any type of ground meat you like. Meatballs are also a great way to add an extra serving of vegetables by adding pureed vegetables to your meatball mix! I usually add 1/3-1/2 cup pureed squash, broccoli or cauliflower to my meatballs. Tonight I made what I call an East Meets West spaghetti with meatballs. This is a spaghetti and meatball dish that has a slightly asian flare. I have made it several times before, and every time I like it even more. Please note that I don't really measure my ingredients, so measurements are approximate.

East Meets West Spaghetti with Meatballs
1 lb spaghetti (I use whole grain spaghetti, but regular will work too)
1 lb ground meat (I use ground turkey, but you could use pork or beef)
1/3 cup pureed squash, broccoli or cauliflower (optional)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce, divided

4 tbsp. garlic powder, divided or 4 cloves of garlic, divided
1 egg
1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 scallions - 2 finely chopped and 2 roughly chopped
3 tbsp plus 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp +2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup carrots (I like a lot of carrots), chopped
8 oz. sugar snap peas, roughly chopped
4-6 oz baby spinach
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the ground meat, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, the finely chopped scallions, 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. ginger root, 2 tbsp. garlic powder, panko breadcrumbs, egg, pureed squash (if using) and Chinese 5 spice. I usually mix it with my hands. Form mixture into medium sized balls and line them up on the cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle.

While meatballs bake, prepare the stir fry. Cook pasta according to package directions. I prefer to cook my pasta in a little chicken stock to give it a little extra flavor. Just a little tip .
In a large, deep skillet, add vegetable oil. When skillet is hot, add the onions and the carrots, saute for about 2 minutes or until onions start to get soft. Add the rest of the veggies except the spinach and the scallions. Add the ginger (I use a micro plane to grate my ginger). Stirfry another 5-10 minutes or until veggies start to soften. Next, add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the veggies, then add the hoisin and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Then add the spinach and scallions. Cook until spinach is wilted.
Remove the meatballs from the oven and add them to the skillet. Combine meatballs with veggies. Drain the pasta. In a large serving dish or bowl, mix the veggies and the pasta. Add the sesame oil and mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Sometimes I also garnish with chopped cashews, and it would probably be good with chopped peanuts too, but unfortunately I have to stay away from peanuts in my house because David is highly allergic.

When I make this dish, I usually make a whole lot of it, and then freeze half of it.

That's all for now, until next time, happy cooking!


Fashion Therapist said...

My hubby and I eat paleo but I have to try this dish, but modify it by using spaghetti squash instead of noodles. Looks delish!

frenchieliza said...

Thanks! I love it. I am sure it would be delish with spaghetti squash...my cousin is on the paleo diet too.

jessicaliliane said...

this sounds good...and it really has me crazing meatballs :) LOL

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