Tag Archives: pasta

Almost everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs and we are no exception. It harkens back to our days as capricious children, when only one meal was acceptable on any given night of the week: spaghetti. It was, and still is, the ultimate comfort food. In this recipe, we substitute the traditional beef meatball with a lighter turkey version and classic marinara gets a roasted red pepper twist.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach


Meatballs and Roasted Red Pepper Marinara

It’s easy to brown the meatballs on the stovetop and cook them with the sauce in our 6 Quart Programmable Stovetop Slow Cooker (33567T). The crock is stovetop safe and makes preparation and cleanup a breeze.
2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
4 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
2 cans (6 oz. each) tomato paste
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
To make the meatballs, combine ground turkey with all meatball ingredients in a large bowl.
Divide mixture and shape into 24 meatballs.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs until light brown. Set aside.
Combine sauce ingredients in crock.
Gently stir in meatballs to cover with sauce.
Cover and cook for 3 hours on HIGH or 5 hours on LOW until meatballs are heated to at least 160°F internal temperature.
Serve over pasta.
It is easier to brown meatballs in two batches. Heat one tablespoon olive oil and brown 12 meatballs at a time.
If you like thicker sauce, remove lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Food Focus: Basil

Dearest basil,

How do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height…

Just kidding, we don’t need to quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning to prove how much we love basil, but it does seem appropriate for an herb with which the world is so smitten. It is fragrant, refreshing and light, and its beautiful green color adds visual interest as well as flavor to almost any dish. Basil is also known as Sweet Basil, the common name for Ocimum Basilicum. The sweet basil we use here is the most commonly found variety and it is used a lot in Italian cuisine. There are many other types of basil (look into Thai basil, lemon basil and holy basil if you are interested in Asian cuisines.) Today, we will focus on sweet basil, which you can find fresh in almost any grocery store, but is also fairly easy to grow at home in a windowsill, porch container or garden.

To select basil, choose bright, sturdy leaves that do not sag. If you grow your own basil, trim the stem just above a grouping of leaves. This encourages the leaves to grow out, rather than up, resulting in a more robust plant and less risk of flowering. Flowers that do grow need to be picked, as flowering indicates that the plant is entering reproduction mode instead of growth mode, so it will stop producing leaves while the flowers are there. Basil can be stored in a plastic bag with a paper towel for a few days or it can be blanched and frozen. Drying basil is not recommended as dried basil loses most of its flavor, and the flavor that is retained tastes much different.

Wash basil only when you are ready to use it by rinsing gently under cold running water. Tenderly pluck the leaves from the stem and dry between layers of paper towels. If you are not gentle with the leaves, they will bruise. Basil is most commonly used in pesto, caprese salad and as a last-minute additive (any earlier and the flavor will disintegrate) to sauces.


Traditional Basil Pesto
YIELDS: 2 servings

4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup (about 5 oz.) pine nuts
4 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place basil, pine nuts and garlic in food processor bowl.
Process until almost a puree.
Add oil, Parmesan cheese and salt. Process until mixture is well blended.
Toss with hot pasta, spread on grilled chicken or use as a sandwich spread.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Test Kitchen Tip: Divide Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce between two ice cube trays; cover with plastic wrap and freeze. When the pesto sauce is frozen solid, pop the pesto cubes out and place in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Remove pesto cubes from bag, as needed. For an individual serving, defrost one pesto cube and toss with hot cooked pasta or spread on your favorite sandwich or wrap.



Pasta with Pesto Sauce
YIELDS: 4 servings

1 package (12 oz.) pasta
Traditional Basil Pesto (recipe above)
Cook pasta following package directions; drain.
Toss with Traditional Basil Pesto.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Wraps


Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Wraps
YIELDS: 4 servings

Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Marinade
Traditional Basil Pesto
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Prepare and grill vegetables as directed for Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Marinade.
Prepare pesto as directed using Traditional Basil Pesto.
Spread tortillas with about 2 Tablespoons pesto.
Arrange vegetables in center of tortillas. Fold up bottom of tortilla and roll up sides.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Test Kitchen Tip: For easy carrying at a picnic, serve the wraps in small buckets or cups with chips.

Want more pesto dishes? We thought so.

Chicken Pesto Panini

Grilled Chicken with Basil Pesto

Pesto with Sundried Tomato, Mozzarella and Egg Breakfast Sandwich