The last day of August wanted let us know it was still August. It was a little humid, warm, sunny, a very beautiful summer day. The Daughter and I did some errands and then went for a nice walk around the neighborhood with the Husband. It was a nice Friday.
We saw the blue moon over the ocean and it was gorgeous. I wish that I had a camera that could have done the sight justice. The blue-gray waves with foamy white caps crashing on the sand saw the pink moon rise brilliantly while the sun set in a fiery glow in the opposite direction. As the moon rose, it slowly went from a bright pink to a blush to a pale pink tint before taking on its normal glow. There is something truly beautiful about the moon on the water. For me, there are few things more beautiful than moonlight on the ocean.
Before all of that though, I tried a new recipe.
It was quite simple but really delicious. It was pretty easy to modify for less or more people if you need.
Pasta with Spinach and Meatballs
3/4 lb pasta like fusilli or gemelli – I bet though that any past would work if you were in a real pinch.
20 small meatballs (recipe to follow)
12 oz mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp chopped thyme
grated pecorino (again – Parmesan works too if you like)
5 oz baby spinach
salt & pepper, for taste
How to make the meatballs according to this Real Simple article:
3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
1/2 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 c fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 c whole milk ( you could use lower fat milk too)
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 lbs ground beef or turkey
2 large eggs
salt and pepper
Combine bread, onion, parsley, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the milk and Worcestershire, let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the beef , eggs, and 1TBSP salt and pepper and gently combine (get your hands into it – it’s the only way to really combine everything.) Form into 40 meatballs (2 TBSP each)
To cook immediately – place the meatballs on foil lined broiler-proof baking sheet and broil, one sheet at a time turning once, until cooked through, 8 – 10 minutes.
To freeze and cook later: Freeze the uncooked meatballs on wax paper-lined baking sheets until firm, transfer to a freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months. To cook, broil the frozen meatballs as above adding 2 – 4 minutes to the cooking time.
These meatballs sound similar to my Grandma’s recipe so I’m sure they are delicious. However, tonight I cut corners and used the frozen turkey meatballs. They worked out wonderfully and cut the prep and cooking time down.
Back to the pasta dish now…
Cook 20 meatballs (or heat up some frozen ones as I did).
Cook 3/4 lb of pasta of your choice (for a healthier alternative, there are some great whole wheat pastas that would be much better on the calorie counter), reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
Cook 12 oz quartered mushrooms (I used Portobello mushrooms because I like them) and 1 tsp chopped thyme in butter in a large skillet until tender, 8-10 minutes.
Toss the mushrooms with the pasta, meatballs, 5 oz of baby spinach, 1/2 c grated pecorino, and the reserved cooking water.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
It took no more than 30 minutes to cook and serves four people. It was filling, got in a veg serving, and just really was a nice dish. I couldn’t get the daughter to try it, though she did love the turkey meatballs which was a first for her. The Husband declined this tasty dish also and opted for red sauce instead which I kind of expected.
So, the verdict…
I would definitely make this one again. It was just so good! I can only imagine how much better it is with the homemade meatballs. Someday, when I have more time, I will do the homemade meatballs. I bet it will taste even better!
Plugging this dish into MyFitnessPal gave me the following nutritional info per serving:
Calories: 642 – Kind of high so you can tweak it. Thinking about it though, this recipe is supposed to be served between 4 people, that means 5 meatballs per person. That’s a lot of meatballs…
Carbs: 70 g – pasta. Need I say more?
Fat: 5 g – low-fat though. That’s good!
Protein: 19 g
Fiber 6 g
Sugar: 3 g
Making some minor adjustments to the recipe as written could really change this recipe. Use whole wheat pasta, cut down on the number of meatballs, maybe use less cheese (not sure that one is too feasible since cheese makes everything better.)?
Plugging it into my Weight Watchers calculator showed that it was 10 PP. I had the Points so it was ok. Though this recipe did put me well over my calories for the day. I wonder how that works? It’s odd. Tomorrow will be a light food day. Going to stay under calories and under Points. I find when I have a day like today and then go light, I keep my body guessing. At least in the past, when I’ve done that, it works. So tomorrow I’ll be giving it a go!