Monday, May 3, 2010

Rachel is the new Julia Child....time to make Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs!

Ok. So Rachel is obviously outdoing me here! I've gotta step it up! :)

The truth is I haven't been much in the mood to write lately and I'm not sure why. But one of the great things I love about food is being able to share it with others - and not just the eating part...the cooking too! A few months ago, my friend Tricia came over to watch the Oscars. I thought, "Hey! What a great excuse to cook dinner!" Now, Tricia does not cook but I wanted to show her how easy and delicious a meal can be so off to Trader Joe's we went. On the menu for the night? Whole wheat spaghetti, homemade marinara sauce, turkey meatballs, and garlic naan. Now really, the only actual cooking was making the marinara sauce. Easy enough, right? This is the recipe I used:

Marinara Sauce by Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 dried bay leaves

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

Now, I read in the user comments on the Food Network website that you should really blend or "process" the vegetables so that your sauce doesn't turn out super chunky. So that's what we did. And you know what? They were right and the sauce was super good! Once we had that going and the pasta was boiling in some olive oil, we threw the awesome frozen turkey meatballs from Trader Joe's (which are SUPER good, healthy, and easy!) into the sauce. All that was left was to take some whole wheat Naan, spread some crushed garlic on it with some spices and toss that into the toaster oven. Within minutes we were ready to eat. And boy, was it delicious. I even had enough left over for another couple of meals, including a meatball sandwich! Yum, yum, yum. TaaDaah!

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