I have an incredible pasta dish to share with you today!
My basil is doing awesome right now and I have been making batches of pesto like it is going out of style (like that would ever happen). I like to make lots in the summer, freeze tablespoons in ice cube trays (great for measuring when preparing a recipe) and use it till the next season. Ron, Kellen and I love pesto and it is a win win for us all.
I love the flavor combination of pesto and feta, and decided that it would be a great sauce to highlight one of my favorite flavors. I opted to make meatballs with my pasta because I love them, but you would easily use grilled chicken or have your pasta sans meat. I like a smaller meatball, but if you prefer big go for it, but adjust your cooking time in the oven. The sauce is very easy to make, but make sure to do a very light simmer because it take awhile for the feta to melt into the sauce.
My family went gaga for this meal, and I can't wait to make it again. Kellen loves feta cheese and was thrilled to find little crumbles of it in his pasta.
Tonight is my work employee picnic and I am playing in the volleyball tournament. Kellen and Ron are coming to watch and have dinner. They are predicting storms, but I am hoping it will be done by the time we play. The park where the picnic is held is really like and there is a large play area and I know Kellen will have a great time. I am playing with a few girls from my Thursday night volleyball league and two other co-workers- hopefully we do well!
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/8 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup dried plain bread crumbs
2 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
8 oz heavy cream
1 cup milk (I use 2% or whole)
2/3 cup crumbled feta (+extra for topping)
1 lb penne pasta
3 Tbl grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
6 Tbl pesto
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine first 8 ingredients into a large mixing bowl and gently mix the ingredients together by hand. Roll meatballs by hand (1-2 inches around depending on your preference in size). This recipes makes about 50-55 small meatballs. Bake meatballs for 25 minutes (depending on size of meatball this can vary).
While meatballs are cooking start the sauce. Combine cream, milk and feta. Lightly simmer till melted reduced 15 minutes. While sauce and meatballs are cooking cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Remove meatballs from oven and cover with foil if necessary. Whisk Romano/Parmesan, pesto and pepper into the cream sauce and add the pasta. Stir gently to combine.
Plate the pasta and top with meatballs. Sprinkle feta over the top if desired.