The Pillsbury Bake Off deadline for submissions is approaching and my brain is jumbled with ingredients haikus: limited ingredients, limited time, and an unexpected twist at the end.
and an item from list B
Million dollar wow
Last night I was standing outside watching the moon blur and sharpen with the passing clouds, the clean green scent of fresh-cut grass in the air, and all I’m thinking about is mini-muffin tins. What seven magic ingredients can I stuff into a mini muffin tin? And it came to me. Spaghetti and meatballs appetizer! I got so excited I planned the whole thing out and fell asleep with visions of meatballs dancing in my head. But then, in cold sober light of morning, I remembered that there is no pasta on list A.
So they may not be worth a million dollars but these bites make a damn fine snack and they look like food the Jetsons would eat to boot. Planetary.
And as an aside. Damn you internets, blessing and curse that you are. Time stealer, dream dasher. I was going to call these amazeballs, because of the meatball and the amazing but apparently there are a whole slew of amazing ball-shaped foods out there. Wonderball? Taken. And the more you contemplate balls the less appetizing the word ‘balls’ becomes. So I’m taking suggestions but until then I give you spaghetti and meatball bites.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 TBS tomato paste
- 1/2 cup onion finely minced or grated
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped softened if not packed in olive oil
- 1 tsp dried Italian herb blend which is where I went when I discovered there were just few leaves of fresh parsley leftor 2 tsp fresh parsley and 1 tsp fresh oregano.
- salt and pepper to taste
Throughly combine all ingredients
Form into balls (about a 1/2 inch for mini meatballs)
For smaller batches I prefer to cook these with a little olive oil in my cast iron on the stove top (medium low heat about six minutes a side.) But for large batches it would be infinitely easier to bake them on a sheet pan(375 for about 20-25 minutes turning once if necessary)
mini meatball and spaghetti bites
makes 48 bite sized balls and string
preheat oven to 375
3 ounces angel hair pasta cooked al dente and tossed with
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil and
1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
48 mini meatballs precooked
1 cup preferred pasta sauce
48 1/2 inch slices of mozzarella cheese
1-3 cups grated parmesan or romano
cook pasta and toss with olive oil and cheese, set aside
butter or oil the muffin tin and coat with a healthy coating of grated cheese
assemble nests of pasta- see illustration
add a small dollop of sauce, about half a tsp) if desired (see note below)
place meatball in center of nest
top with 1/2-1 tsp of sauce and fresh mozzarella
bake in pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes until sauce is bubbling, cheese is melted, and bottom of nests have just begun to brown
allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan
can be served warm or at room temperature
I made half of these with sauce on the bottom and half without. Those without held up better when warm but once they had cooled the ones with sauce held together just as well.