Carbo-loading

It’s been a long four months of training but the moment has finally arrived. 4 more days till the NY marathon. Hurricane Sandy tried to interfere but at the moment it looks like the race will go on! I will not miss the long runs but I will miss getting to eat anything I wanted afterward. Since this is the last week of training I get to carbo-load to my heart’s content- poor me.

We have been without power since Monday but we can cook so there will be lots of pasta this week!

I had some mini meatballs already frozen in the freezer that were rapidly defrosting. So spaghetti and meatballs it will be! Kids love anything mini and I love that I can add some veggies to them. Seems like a win – win to me but of course anything can happen with our little crew.

This recipe has a ton of vegetables – since we are eating by candlelight they won’t even notice!

Pasta and Mini Meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs:

2 small cloves garlic

1/2-cup fresh spinach leaves

1 large carrot or 10 mini carrots roughly chopped

1 small onion roughly chopped

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 lb. Ground turkey

2 eggs

1/3-cup milk (2% or whole)

1-cup Panko breadcrumbs

Salt and Pepper

Sauce:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 28 oz can of crushed or pureed tomatoes

1 lb dried pasta

Note: Any shape works here unlike Mac & Cheese (see previous post on Oct. 19)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse the garlic, spinach, carrots, onion in food processor to make a paste.  Reserve 1/2 of paste for the pasta sauce and add rest to a large mixing bowl. Add ground turkey, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, basil and oregano, pinch of salt and pepper. Gently knead with your hands to combine. Form small meatballs approximately 1” diameter. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Make the sauce – heat olive oil in sauce pan and add the remaining vegetable paste. Cook down for about 5 minutes, add the crushed tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and add meatballs. This recipe yields about 40 meatballs so the balance may be frozen.

While sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to directions. Drain the pasta and then top with meatballs and sauce. Top with grated cheese.

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (big bro): This is yummy Mommy!

Liam (little bro): Can we blow the birthday candle out?

Dylan (little bro): Whose birthday is it Mommy?

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