I am a diehard pasta lover! There is nothing better than coming in from a long run in the cold to a plate of warm pasta. Even though there is no genealogical evidence, I am convinced I must have some Italian heritage in me. One of my favorite dishes to make is baked penne with meatballs. It has the enjoyment of a lasagna with half of the work. My husband, who does not have the same love of pasta as I do, loves when I make this dish. The smell of meatballs and sauce permeates the air to where you can even smell it outside. To ease the letdown of the post-holiday season, I made this dish with, what I think, great success:
Ingredients for the Meatballs:
2/3 lb Italian Sausage (Turkey sausage works, too, and I will probably start using turkey sausage after the new year when I am willing to admit my pants are hurting me)
1/3 lb ground pork (ground turkey works, too. Same disclaimer as above)
2/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs (cornmeal works, too)
2 eggs, beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the bread crumbs to a bowl and add just a touch of water to make them just moist, but not wet. In another bowl, mix together the sausage, pork, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan. Then, stir in the bread crumbs. Continue mixing ingredients with your hands until they are just combined. Shape the mixture in to meatballs about the size of golfballs and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Ingredients for the baked penne:
1 package (12 oz) of favorite gluten free pasta (I prefer Schar's)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce ( I am still working on my homemade recipe but it is not perfected, yet)
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Keep the oven at the 400 degree temperature. Cook the pasta for minute less than the recommended cooking time. Drain, and set aside. Over low heat, reduce the marinara sauce until it just starts bubbling. Set 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce aside; add the meatballs to remaining sauce and keep warm.
Allergy Free Wednesday and Gluten Free Friday! Any favorite comfort foods? Share in the comments section!