Thursday, August 29, 2013

Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa Penne

A lot of you are probably familiar with the grain quinoa and use it it regularly, but did you know there is quinoa pasta as well??  Not only is it gluten free, it's also lower in fat, calories, and carbs and higher in protein than whole wheat pasta variations. You can find it at your local health store or in the health/gluten free section at your local grocer.  If you can't find it, you can still make this dish by substituting the quinoa pasta for whole wheat.

I was excited to make this tonight because I had a couple of ingredients that needed used and was really thrilled when I found this recipe.  The family loved it, including my 4 yr old picky eater!  It was a hit!

Here's what you need:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/4 cup 1% low fat milk
2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan salt... it's more natural)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 clove garlic (minced)
14oz can low sodium beef broth (divided) **I did not have beef broth so I used organic vegetable broth instead.
1 lb ground turkey
cooking spray
1 box quinoa penne pasta
1 bottle organic spaghetti sauce or another tomato sauce variety

Here's what you do:
First, preheat oven to 450*F
Next, mix the first 10 ingredients in a large bowl.

Next, add 1/4 cup of broth to mixture and stir well. 
Then, crumble turkey over breadcrumb mixture, mixing with hands until blended. 

Next, shape the mixture into approximately 24 (1-inch) meatballs and place in a single layer in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. (I recommend using the olive oil variety of cooking spray... or simply coat the dish with olive oil)
Then, pour the remaining beef broth into the pan and bake at 450* for 25 minutes or until done. 

Meanwhile, cook past according to directions on the package, omitting any salt suggestion. 
Then, heat pasta sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. 
Finally, serve meatballs and sauce over pasta. (optional: top with shredded Parmesan cheese)

This dish should only take about 45 minutes including prep and cook time.  Hope you and your families enjoy this new favorite of mine.  Please comment and let me know what you think and as always share with your friends! :) 

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