This is one of my staple pasta dishes - tasty, great for carb loading several nights before a long run and with a good lean bit of protein thrown in for good measure it makes a great recovery meal too.
I like to make the meatballs and spaghetti sauce in large batches on lazy Sunday afternoons and freeze them in small portions. That way I always have some on hand - especially handy since Gavin loves them. The first time I made them, he asked me what they were and I came up with "Pierluigi's spaghetti and meatballs" because it sounded very Italian. He loved it when daddy pretended to be Pierluigi and the name just stuck.
I've been stuck on making them ever since.
Mark's "Pierluigi" Spaghetti and Meatballs
Meatballs (makes 18)
3 slices wholewheat bread, crusts removed
1 cup skimmed milk
1 package Jennie-O lean ground turkey (about 1.25lbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
Put the bread in a small bowl and pour the milk over it
In another larger bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add in the turkey, garlic, Parmesan, parsley and cinnamon and combine.
Squeeze the milk from the bread and crumble into the turkey mix. Season with salt and pepper and mix by hand.
Form into 18 balls and place on a baking tray. Place the tray in the freezer until the meatballs are hard and then store in a large freezer bag until ready to use.
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
8oz mushrooms, chopped
1 tin (15oz) Italian diced tomatoes
1 large tin (29oz) tomato sauce
Basil, parsley, oregano to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms, and saute for about 10 minutes or until browned.
Stir in the Italian diced tomatoes and juice and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce and the herbs, and season with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and let cook for 30 minutes.
Divide into 2 cup portions. Can be stored in containers and frozen if needed.
Bringing it all together
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and spray with olive oil.
Add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes, turning half way through.
Add the spaghetti sauce, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Cook the spaghetti as directed on the packet (or better still make your own)
Pour spaghetti into a pasta bowl, add the sauce and meatballs and toss.
Top with mozzarella (or shaved Parmesan) and parsley.
Tip : make a little extra and take some to work with you for a midmorning snack.
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