Pasta in a Hurry

When I know I’m going to be pressed for time getting dinner on the table (because of a meeting that will undoubtedly last longer than scheduled), I go to the freezer for help. On this occasion, I found a package of tortellini, some pesto and a chicken-feta sausage. I took it out of the freezer the night before.

tortellini, chicken-feta sausage, and pesto
tortellini, chicken-feta sausage, and pesto

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Stick the sausage in a skillet and brown it. Toss the tortellini with the pesto.

Pesto Tortellini with Sausage
Pesto Tortellini with Sausage

Serve with the sausage.

Baked Meatballs

Meatballs are wonderful to make because if you make lots of them, you can freeze someĀ for later use. Therefore, the reward for your effort continues for a long time. This recipe is a slight variation fromĀ Alton Brown’s recipe. Alton coats them a final time in bread crumbs before baking them. However, I decided that last step didn’t add enough pizzazz for me to put out the effort.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 10 oz of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Baked Meatball mixture
Baked Meatball mixture

Using a spoon, shape the meatballs about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Raw Meatball
Raw Meatball

Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.

Baked Meatballs--ready for the oven
Baked Meatballs–ready for the oven

Then turn the meatballs and bake for another 15-20 minutes until they register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Baked Meatballs
Baked Meatballs