On Top Of Spaghetti

Meatballs!

Spaghetti + meatballs = one of my favorite quick dinners. And homemade meatballs are a lot easier to make than you might expect — hint hint to a certain little sister of mine :)

The Recipe: Easy Meatballs

Yield: approximately one dozen meatballs
Time: 35 minutes

1 lb. ground sirloin
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Do This
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Combine all ingredients, and roll into meatballs. I usually get about a dozen with this recipe, but your yield may vary depending on the size of your meatballs.

Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes (or until the centers are no longer pink — this may take longer if your meatballs are on the larger side).

And…that’s it! Homemade meatballs! They’re friends with spaghetti. And garlic bread. And parmesan cheese, sometimes.

Wanna spice things up? Crushed red pepper makes a hot addition to this recipe.

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A Nice, Light, Summer-y Dinner

Sometimes, it’s too hot outside for a really heavy meal.
Sometimes, I’ve just found a new (to me, at least) shape of pasta that I don’t want to drown in a meat or cream sauce.


Look how pretty summer veggies can be. They’re so nice, they get bowties!

Mini farfalles! If there’s anything better than bowtie pasta, it’s tiny bowtie pasta. Even better? Mini bowties with colorful summer veggies.

The Recipe:
Summer Veggies with Vinaigrette-Tossed Mini Bowties

1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
garlic powder
Italian seasoning mix (basil, oregano, etc)
fresh ground pepper

Do This
Start two pots of boiling water – one about halfway full and the other about an inch full. The first one is for pasta and the second is for steaming. Hooray, multitasking!
Chop the veggies into bite-sized pieces. One-inch squares for the peppers and quarter-inch thick slices of the zucchini and squash should work just fine. if you’re feeling fancy, cut stripes into the zucchini.
Toss a few handfuls (or half a box, whatever) of mini bowtie pasta into the first pot and cook until juuust past al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place the veggies in a steamer basket in the second pot of boiling water, cover with a lid, and let them have some sauna time.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain the water off and place the little floppy bowties in a large bowl. Pour in a few glugs each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (how much is up to you – I went with about a tablespoon and a half of each). Shake a little bit of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and fresh ground pepper over the top, then toss the pasta until the spices and vinaigrette are evenly distributed.
Remove the veggies from the steamer, and spoon over a plate of the vinaigrette-tossed bowties.

You can serve the pasta warm or chilled – it’s great either way. I plan on making this in bulk and packing it into little containers for tasty at-work lunches.