Thursday, June 10, 2010

Linguine and Quinoa Meatballs

Recent Costco purchases: 20 lb. bag of organic brown rice, 10 lb. bag of organic quinoa & 10 lbs. of organic whole wheat spaghetti. Must put all to use and here is one way I did.

Typically, meatballs are made with bread crumbs, but this adds quinoa instead to add more protein. I also revamped my spaghetti sauce from the Risotto Cakes recipe 2 more times! I put it in a food processor and added a little water. Then we had mini english muffin pizzas. Then instead of making this sauce, I just added a little more water and used my sauce. I am looking forward to trying this sauce, though, because I pretty much love anything with balsamic vinegar!



¼ cup olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 large carrot, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

1 28-oz. can tomatoes, chopped, with juices

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


3 Tbs canola oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

½ cup finely grated Parmesan

1 egg

3 Tbs. fresh parsley leaves, very finely chopped

½ tsp. salt

¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. linguine

1 large handful fresh basil leaves


To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper flakes and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and vinegar and simmer for 20 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to keep warm.

To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 425. Heat the canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, partially covered, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, quinoa, Parmesan, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, and cooled onions. Stir until a smooth, homogenous mixture has formed.

Roll the meat mixture into 2-inch balls and set them on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet in neat rows. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until nicely browned but still soft to the touch.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the linguine al dente. Serve the pasta with some meatballs and the sauce and top with a sprinkling of torn basil leaves.

Source: the 10 things you need to eat and more than 100 ways to prepare them

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