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Monday, November 4, 2013

Meatballs Florentine

There is truly something comforting about a big plate (or bowl) of spaghetti and meatballs.  It, of course, always reminds me of growing up.  My mom would make meatballs with homemade sauce quite often and I loved it.  Actually, I'll be honest, I loved when she made spaghetti and spicy sausage best, but the meatballs were a very, very close second!  So, of course, when I saw this recipe in Cook's Country magazine, I knew I was going to have to make it at some point.  I loved the twist it gave on the classic meatball.  And honestly, I don't know why I didn't think of doing this myself!!  It's a great way to get a little green in with all that meat :)

Meatballs Florentine
Adapted from Cook's Country Magazine
Printable Recipe 
1 lbs ground beef (or do half beef, half pork)
3 oz (3 cups) baby spinach, chopped
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
8-10 oz angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Combine the beef, 1 cup spinach, panko, 1 garlic clove and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl and knead gently until incorporated.  From mixture into 1-inch meatballs.  Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke.  Cook meatballs until well browned all over, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate.

Add remaining garlic to the now empty skillet and cook about 30 seconds.  Deglaze pan with wine, making sure to scrap up all the good brown pieces.  Stir in the tomatoes.  (I added about 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and pepper along with a little more red wine at this time, but that is totally optional).  Taste for seasoning.  Allow to simmer on low for about 5 minutes.  Add the meatballs and continue to simmer on low while the pasta cooks.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Remove the sauce and meatballs from the heat and stir in the 2 cups of spinach and basil.  Toss with pasta and serve.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Chipotle Cheddar Corn Bread
Two Years Ago:  Chipotle Meatballs
Three Years Ago:  Greek Chicken Salad


belleau kitchen said...

oooh yes! Meatballs and pasta... pure joy!

Yenta Mary said...

Spaghetti and meatballs - a classic! Oh, man, this looks SO good!!!

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

A great reminder to make meatballs next time I have spaghetti. Seems like a package of italian sausage seems easier.

Pam said...

I've never thought to add spinach to meatballs - great idea! They look terrific.

Chris said...

spinach in meat balls, I love that idea. We rarely make red sauce the same way twice so I might as well try this one too :)

Big Dude said...

I'm with you on spaghetti and meatballs (and sausage too). I like that the addition of spinach turned these into health food.

Cranberry Morning said...

I cannot tell you how good that looks to me right now, and I should be heading off to bed. I haven't eaten meatballs since I can't remember when. They look fantastic. I love the ingredient list. Making this THIS WEEK! Thank you Jenn!

Angie Schneider said...

I love to add greens in the meatballs too. Your pasta looks comforting and delicious.