Is there anything better than a big plate of pasta for dinner? I think not, especially when it is the tastiest, homemade pasta from our local Lexington Pasta Company. I first discovered their pasta at our local farmer's market; now they have their own restaurant and store front, The Pasta Garage where you can grab some delicious Italian pasta dishes whenever your heart desires. They also sell their pastas there, and you can even get them at several local grocery stores around town. I couldn't pass up grabbing some of their new Kentucky shaped pasta last time I was there!
Tonight I made some meatballs to pair with the pasta, using a super easy and relatively healthy recipe that is equally delicious. Most traditional Italian meatball recipes are full of breadcrumbs, cheese, and milk or heavy cream. This is a much lighter version that really only contains meat, egg, and some spices- super simple and low-carb (plus I sneak a bunch of spinach in there!). Trust me, you will not be able to taste the difference and these will become one of your go-to dinner recipes!
(makes about 18-20 meatballs)
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cups finely chopped spinach
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet or pan. I throw all my ingredients into a stand mixer and let it do all the work. You can also mix by hand in a large mixing bowl.
After your ingredients are well combined, use your hands to create your meatballs. I like to keep mine fairly small (2-3 inches) so that they get crispy around the edges while baking.
Place all your meatballs on your greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-25 minutes until cooked through. I usually flip my meatballs about halfway through cooking so that they get brown on both sides.
These meatballs are so good that you can completely skip the pasta if you are wanting to go completely low-carb. If not, you can cook any pasta of your choice while your meatballs are baking so everything is hot and ready to go!
Finish your meatballs (with or without pasta) by topping them with some fresh Marinara or sauce of your choice and some freshly grated Parmesan.
These make such a quick and easy dinner and there are always plenty of leftovers to snack on. I honestly do not even notice that they are missing all the carbs of traditional, heavy Italian meatballs. Thanks to the mixture of sausage, beef, and plenty of spices, they still have amazing flavor and a touch of spice. I love the difference in texture between the crispy outside and the juicy and flavorful inside. As an added bonus you are also sneaking in a bunch of spinach (perfect for even the pickiest of eaters)!