Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pantry Pasta

The other night I was not motivated to cook an extravagant dish (let's be honest, I rarely cook anything worth the word extravagant), so I looked in my pantry and grabbed a few Italian'ish items and VOILA!

Conclusion: It was a hit! The skim milk and cheese added a little creaminess, and the meatballs added big bites of flavor.

As for the meatballs, I am a meatball snob, I found a good recipe on and tweaked it a little.

olive oil
1 small onion sauteed
2 cloves of garlic sauteed
Pasta Seasoning Blend 4-6 shakes (From Trader Joe's)
1 Can of diced tomatoes
12-18 Meatballs (recipe below)
Splash of milk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese  
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Saute chopped onions and chopped garlic in olive oil. Add Pasta Seasoning Blend. (If you do not have the blend from Trader Joe's, the ingredients simply are-- onion powder, garlic powder, basil, lemon, paprika, fennel, oregano, black pepper, ginger, and thyme). 

2. Pulse canned tomatoes in the food processor till slightly chunky so the kids will eat it. Add to pan.

3. Add meatballs and let simmer 10 minutes.

4. Just before serving over warm pasta add a splash of milk and shredded cheese until melted and combined.

(adapted from Meatball Nirvana on

1.5 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Splash of milk if dry
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Place the beef into a mixing bowl, and season with salt, onion, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Add the egg, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. Mix until evenly blended, (add milk if needed) then form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, and place onto a baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

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