We just tossed this idea together because we found a package of ground pork on sale plus $1 off for $1.99 at Target. We have not cooked with ground pork, so we figured we’d buy it and figure something out. Inspired by our favorite TV chefs, Ina Garten & Giada DeLaurentiis (funny, I had no idea there were 2 ii’s in her last name!), we came up with this dish. Now that I think of it, we also used a page from Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade book by using store bought sauce.
Spaghetti Marinara with pork Meatballs!
You will need:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 box spaghetti (we used whole wheat)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced/minced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 medium egg
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 jar marinara sauce (we used a marinara from Trader Joe’s) (you could make your own, but we like to keep it simple)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- you could add 1/2 tsp of oregano or Italian seasoning if you wish
- olive oil (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 medium skillet, 1 deep skillet, 1 large bowl, baking sheet/cutting board
What to do:
- prep ingredients: dice onions and garlic, get spices measured and ready
- heat medium skillet and soften half of the diced onions with olive oil
- pop the softened onions in the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool them just a bit
- in a large bowl, combine the ground pork, softened 1/2 onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan, bread crumbs and whole egg
- mix with clean hands until everything is incorporated
- roll into ping pong ball sized meatballs and place on baking sheet/cutting board
- heat medium skillet over medium high heat
- begin boiling pasta water in another pot
- add 1-2 tbs olive oil to pan and put meatballs in hot pan
- brown meatballs on each side for 2-3 minutes
- don’t worry, you’re NOT cooking them all the way through in this step
- heat deep skillet and add a bit of oil
- add other 1/2 onion to deep skillet and soften
- once soft, reduce heat to medium low and add sauce
- your meatballs should be browned and look like this:
- add the browned meatballs to the deep skillet with the sauce
Your skillet will look like this:
- cover skillet and continue on medium low (or low if it bubbles) for 10 minutes or so
- at this time, begin cooking your pasta, it will be done at just the right time!
- check temperature of meatballs with meat thermometer – once they hit 160, they’re done!
Some side dishes that go with this entree:
- garlic bread of course!
- we did green beans, but if you ask me, they were out of place here.
- a salad before is a classic choice as well
Some alternatives you can try:
- make your own sauce
- use ground beef instead of pork
- use a different type of sauce or pasta (this recipe is easy to change!)
So there you have it, another easy and healthy dinner that is full of flavor and easy on the wallet!