Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, Jazzed Up Marinara and Roasted Mushroom Asparagus

do you ever have a day when you want, think, NEED to make a great meal but don't want to spend spend spend on tons of ingredients? for weeknight meals, i always try to start with a recipe in which i have half the ingredients already around the house. this not only saves time & cleans out the already overstocked pantry, but it also leaves me with a very quick trip to the grocery store.

i've put together a simple meal that involves only 7 main ingredients {and relies on the fact that you are half italian & already have olive oil, pasta, salt & pepper as staples in your home}. mozzarella stuffed meatballs, served over pasta with jazzed up marinara & roasted mushroom asparagus will leave your plate & wallet full!

{mozzarella stuffed meatballs}

ingredients {in order of use}
*makes approx. 10 meatballs
  • 1 pound sausage {chicken sausage works great in this recipe; if only can find links, cut off casings}
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced {optional}
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 tub bocconcini {bite-sized mozzarella balls; 10 small or 4 large cut in 4's}

1. pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. in a bowl, mix sausage, minced garlic & basil.

3. on a large baking pan, liberally drizzle with olive oil & set aside. place mozzarella balls on a plate & prepare to form your meatballs.

*note-keep mozzarella balls separated on a plate so if you don't use them all, you haven't touched them all with your sausage-covered hands.

4. take a golf ball size + of sausage & form into a ball in your hands. flatten, place a piece of mozzarella in the middle & form sausage around to create the meatball.

*note-make sure sausage is fully covering mozzarella in order to eliminate breaches of security for the cheese!

5. once formed, roll meatball in olive oil on baking sheet & set. once all are formed, season with salt & pepper. bake 20 minutes. place a paper towel on a plate & place meatballs on to drain. serve warm with some jazzed up marinara!

{jazzed up marinara}

ingredients {in order of use}
  • 1 jar marinara
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • pasta, optional
1. add marinara sauce to a pot & bring to a low heat. add garlic, basil, salt & pepper & cook on low for 30 minutes. serve warm over pasta if you please!

pretty please!

{roasted mushroom asparagus}

ingredients {in order of use}
  • 10-20 pieces of asparagus, trimmed to 4-6 inches
  • 5-8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees.

*note-if making with meatballs, this dish can go in about 5 minutes after meatballs.

2. in a shallow dish, add asparagus & sliced mushrooms. coat with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper & roast for 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. enjoy warm!

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