Jamie says: I had an amazing day today. I started out my morning with leftover pumpkin pecan spice pancakes (afterall, it is National Pancake Day). I then loaded my car and hopped on the road to go road biking with my friend on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. The weather was perfect… So perfect that the beach sounded very appealing. Spur the moment, I decided to go to Clearwater Beach after my ride. I enjoyed a delicious seafood salad at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on the beach, strolled the shore, napped, and drove home with the windows down. I made a salted caramel chocolate shake, took care of some things around the house, and cooked a nice Italian (and gluten free) supper- Gluten Free Pasta with Mini Cheesy Meatballs and Red Sauce with Onions. You can make this, too!
Start by sauteing onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
Set the onions and garlic aside and keep that pan hot because more is to come of it…
Form little meatballs with shredded greens and fine cheese.
Cook ’em in that same pan you cooked the onions in.
When they get nice and brown on the bottom, flip the meatballs with a spatula.
Meanwhile, cook that pasta (this one is GF- that stands for gluten free).
Once the meatballs are almost all the way cooked, pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, and add those onions and garlic back to the pan.
Top each bowl of pasta with the sauce and meatballs or stir the pasta into the sauce.
Sprinkle some garlic salt and Parmesan cheese on top if you’d like. And there you have it- dinner!
Gluten Free Pasta with Mini Cheesy Meatballs and Red Sauce with Onions
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Filippo Berio)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 10 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice pasta, elbows (Tinkyada)
- 1 cup baby greens mix- baby red chard, baby tat soi, baby spinach, baby green swiss chard, baby arugula (Organic Girl Super Greens)
- 1 oz hard reserve cheese (Sartori BellaVitano Gold)
- 3/4 lb ground pork (Publix)
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Hunts)
- dash garlic salt (McCormick)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Publix)
- Peel skin off onion. Cut onion into 16ths by cutting onion in half and cutting each piece in half, repeating twice more.
- In a large non-stick saute pan on medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil followed by cut onions. Stir with a wooden spoon. Peel garlic. Using a garlic press, crush garlic on top of onions. (Add pieces from inside garlic press, too.) Stir. Cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally, and reducing heat to medium low if needed. Remove onions from pan and set aside, reserving oil in pan.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot on high heat. Add pasta and cook 15 minutes. Drain immediately in a colander and run under cool water. Drain all water.
- Shave reserve cheese. Thinly slice baby greens. Mix cheese and baby greens into ground pork. Form mini meatballs, about the size of a tablespoon.
- Add mini meatballs to the saute pan the onions were in and place a lid on top. Cook meatballs for about 4 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom, flip meatballs, return lid to pan, and cook an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown and almost cooked throughout. Pour crushed tomatoes on top, stir in cooked onions, and cover with lid. Increase heat to medium-high and heat an additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce is hot and meatballs are cooked throughout.
- Gently stir pasta into sauce with meatballs; and divide among three bowls. Add garlic salt and grated Parmesan cheese to taste. Enjoy!
- Nutrition note: Add some greens to your meatballs for a nutrient boost. Just 1/3 cup of the Organic Girl Super Greens (that’s the 1 cup in the recipe divided among 3 servings), adds 52% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin K and 13% of the DV of vitamin A.
- Gluten-free note: Ensure all ingredients are gluten free and are prepared without any cross-contamination.