I could smell the sauce bubbling away on the stove as soon as I walked in the door. Whenever I came home from school and the smell hit me, I knew it was going to be a good dinner night. Next to your Italian grandma, my mom makes the best spaghetti and meatballs. The smell would resonate in the house from meatballs frying and a giant pot of red sauce would be bubbling away on the stove for hours at a time. I could never resist the smell and the giant wooden spoon resting by the sink would always pull me near so that I could have just a taste.
This meal doesn’t just resonate with me as being one of my mom’s best but also because I fondly remember it as the of the first recipes I really took the time to learn with my mom. To this day, when I’m craving comfort food it’s her recipe I turn to.
However in the summer time I’m not really looking to sit down to a heavy meal of spaghetti, meatballs, sausage, and slow cooked sauce. I’m looking to lighten things and I’m also looking for a meal that will come together quickly with minimal cooking time at the stove.
#SundaySupper and American Family Insurance are together again this month with AmFam’s Choose Dreams initiative. Last month we were getting our garden’s ready and this month is the perfect time to harvest those vegetables and use them to lightened up my favorite meal. That spaghetti has been replaced with vegetable noodles and instead of using canned tomatoes, make a quick fresh sauce.
The best thing about this dish is it’s versatility. Use what you have on hand – the noodles can be made from zucchini, yellow squash or carrots. As for the tomato sauce if you are only growing cherry tomatoes, chop them up and toss them in, it just means your dinner will get on the table faster than cooking down larger tomatoes.
- ½lb ground beef
- ½lb ground veal
- ½lb ground pork
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 garlic clove finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- olive oil
- 5 roma tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼ inch dice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- kosher salt
- 2 medium zucchini or summer squash
- Fresh basil and parmigiana cheese to top
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg, milk garlic, salt, oregano and pepper.
- Form into balls slightly large than a golf ball. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and the meatballs start to brown.
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, drizzle the olive oil and add the chopped tomatoes, season lightly with salt. Saute for 6-8 minutes or until the juices are released and the tomatoes start to break down.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the white wine. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer to cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the tomatoes are sauce and the liquid is slightly thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Using a spiral vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini and blanch in the boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Drain immediately and run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking process.
- To plate: Divide the noodles between two plates and top with 2-3 meatballs and fresh tomato sauce. Top with chopped basil and parmigiana cheese.
- Save any extra meatballs for leftovers or lunch the next day.
If you are looking for more great ideas to lighten up your family favorites then check out American Family Insurance’s Family Favorites Turned Healthy #ChooseDreams Pinterest Board plus recipes below from #SundaySupper contributors.
Angel Hair & Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce by Ruffles & Truffles
Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
Beef Stroganoff by Country Girl in the Village
Buffalo Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Corn and Crab Chowder by The Dinner-Mom
Crab Cake Salad by Family Foodie
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms On Red Pepper Slaw with Cucumber Dressing by Seduction In The Kitchen
Healthy Chicken Salad by Run DMT
Lighter Beef Tacos by Alida’s Kitchen
Meatballs with Vegetable Noodles and Fresh Tomato Sauce by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by The Messy Baker
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Superfood Pancakes by girlichef
Tex Mex Enchilada Skillet Lasagna by Neighborfood
Zucchini Meat Lasagna by Peanut Butter and Peppers
Chewy Coconut Granola Bars by Savvy Eats
Enlightened Southern Banana Puddings by The Weekend Gourmet
Mom’s Fruit Salad by Magnolia Days
Strawberry Vanilla Canapés by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Zucchini Carrot Snack Cake by The Foodie Army Wife
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