So this is pretty easy, and any actual work can be done the night before. I use regular old spaghetti and quite frankly I typically use jarred spaghetti sauce (although occasionally I’ll doctor up a large can of crushed tomatoes with garlic, oregano, onions, etc. – but that’s for a different day). Because today is about a new trick I learned for making meatballs! You can bake them in a muffin tin (turns out you can make just about anything in muffin tins – I’ve done frittatas, stuffing, even saw a recipe for mac and cheese . . . but again, that’s for another day.) Anyway, this is just my easy recipe for meatballs – I make them the night before, and then pop them in the oven when I get home prior to putting the water on to boil. And the next thing you know, you have spaghetti and meatballs. I’m going to serve them with another recipe I’ve never tried (I never said I guaranteed any of these, right?? These are as much my experiments as yours – but I’ll try and edit this to let you know how they turn out.) Anyway, I tried to think of a veggie side the boys would eat with spaghetti and meatballs and found this: Parmesan Spinach Balls. Again, you can make the balls ahead of time and then stick them in the oven the next day. In fact, these apparently freeze well, so you could do them quite a bit in advance and have a bunch on hand for whenever you need a quick veggie side.
Muffin Tin Meatballs
1 small onion
1.25 pounds ground turkey (actually, we usually get ours in a 1.3 lb container – but the proportions should be fine)
¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup fresh, finely chopped Parsley (actually, I like to use the fresh tubed herbs for stuff like this – they’re great if your grocery store carries them – in which case I’d use about 2 Tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place the ground turkey in a big bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Add all of the ingredients with the egg being last, and then mix it well (don’t forget to take off your rings!) until everything is incorporated. Then STOP. Avoid the temptation to overmix.
- Roll 12 meatballs with the palms of your hand and place into a muffin tin that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.
Parmesan Spinach Balls
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained
¾ cup Italian style seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup of butter, melted
¼ cup of fresh dill, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and arrange on a baking sheet
- At this point, either freeze (and then place in a Ziploc bag for up to 3 months), place in the fridge overnight, or skip ahead to the next step.
- Add to the oven about 10 minutes into the meatballs cooking, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. If they start to get too brown, turn them over so they cook evenly.