A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life

Menu Monday: Spicy meatballs with gluten-free pasta

One of the nice things about adding meat back into our diet it that now Meg and I can go back to our cookbook library and pull out recipes that we would not have made during our stricter pescatarian days.  Case in point, this recipe for spicy meatballs we found in Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That.

How Easy Is That, great book of recipes that can be easily tailored to your own dietary needs.

How Easy Is That, great book of recipes that can be easily tailored to your own dietary needs.

Ina’s recipe calls for turkey, and since we are still steering clear of poultry, we simply replaced the turkey with beef.  We used a mix of beef (1/4 pound of 90% lean from Whole Foods and 1/2 pound of 80% lean from John Crow Farm, which we picked up at the Wakefield Farmers Market).  Additionally, we used Ezekiel bread, which contains sprouted grains, so it is lower in gluten than other breads (more about gluten in a later post), and we used coconut milk (and no cheese) since we are reducing our intake of dairy.

You can find Ina’s recipe here:, or I recommend picking up her cookbooks, they have tons of great recipes for weeknight meals and for parties.

Anyway, the meatballs turned out great, in fact Meg said they may have been “the best thing I have ever made” which I take as a big complement.  I also made a quick homemade pasta sauce with spinach.  I served Meg’s with some homemade gluten-free pasta (more on this later too, as I continue to work on perfecting my technique) and mine with some conventional pasta (because there were some issues with the homemade pasta and I did not make as much as I expected).

Spicy meatballs in a quick spinach and San Marzano tomato sauce

Spicy meatballs in a quick spinach and San Marzano tomato sauce

Ingredients for the meatballs

  • 1 1/2 cups of bread, about 3 slices of bread, diced into 1″ cubes
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 3/4 pound of beef
  • 3 ounces of sweet Italian pork sausage (1 link of Niman Ranch sausage), casing removed
  • 2 slices of prosciutto, De Parma of course, diced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • dried oregano, about 1/2 a teaspoon
  • red pepper flakes, about 1/2 a teaspoon, depending on your desired spice level
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg

In a food processor, pulse the bread until it is a medium crumb, not too fine, there should be some larger pieces left.  In a bowl, combine the bread and milk, and set aside.

In another large bowl combine the beef, sausage, prosciutto.

Beef, sausage and prosciutto

Beef, sausage and prosciutto

Season with the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the bread mixture and parsley.  Mix with your hands until well combined.  Add the oil and egg, and lightly mix with a fork until combined.

Onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, roll out the meatballs.  This recipe made about 15 meatballs.

photo (6)

Bake in a 400F oven for about 35 minutes, until the meatballs are browned on the top.  You do not have to cook them all the way through because they will cook in the sauce.

photo (3)

The sauce is super simple, and you can certainly use any prepared sauce you like.  I basically add sauted onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to a large can of San Marzano tomatoes.  Throw in some frozen spinach, fresh parsley and basil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Piece of cake.

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2013 by in Peter Waterman's posts, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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