Thursday, January 12, 2012

{Recipes} - Linguine and Meatballs

Hello friends! I wanted to share with you a fun, healthy recipe I tried the other night! I was watching the Food network (shocker!) and saw this recipe on Cooking for Real. Typically when cooking pasta dishes you use a tomato based sauce and add some form of red meat, but when I saw the recipe called for whole wheat pasta, ground chicken, and collard greens turned into pesto, I thought to myself "I have to try this!" I thought it turned out very well, and I know it must have been a success since my husband went back for seconds, and thoroughly enjoyed leftovers the next night!

Collard Green Pesto Linguine

1 pound bunch collards, ribs discarded, leaves roughly chopped
1 (13-ounce) box whole-wheat linguine
1/4 cup pecans
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Blanch collards until bright green, about 1 minute. Transfer immediately to an ice bath to shock, saving the boiling water for cooking the pasta. Remove the collards from the ice water and pat dry with paper towels before transferring them to a food processor.

Add the linguine to the pot of salted boiling water and cook according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a dry skillet, over low heat, toast the pecans until fragrant. Transfer to the food processor with Parmesan, olives and garlic. With food processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until pesto comes together. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

To serve, put enough pesto to coat the pasta into a large serving bowl. Drain the pasta and quickly add it to the bowl. The water still clinging to the pasta will loosen up the pesto. Toss to coat. Add more pesto, if needed. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and garnish with Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Zesty Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, whisked
3 tablespoons unseasoned whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Hungarian or hot paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, about 1 small sprig
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, about 5 sprigs
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 lemon, zested
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, gently mix the chicken, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, paprika, onion powder, oregano, thyme, brown sugar, lemon zest, 2 healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper in a bowl. Form into mini meatballs, slightly smaller than a golf ball; it should make 28 to 30 meatballs. Warm the butter and oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the meatballs to the pan and do not disturb for 3 minutes to brown well. Turn, cooking another 3 minutes without disturbing. Keep cooking until browned and cooked on all sides, but still juicy and plump with a spring to the touch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve atop Collard Green Pesto Linguine, if desired.


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