It's hard to believe that I wasn't a big fan of "macaroni" when I was growing up. What I wouldn't give to be able to eat pasta more frequently now! Lately I've been making it on Sundays, looking for new and more healthy ways to prepare it. Since Larry is a big spaghetti and meatball fan, I decided to try this take on the classic Italian-American favorite. We were both glad that I did.
(Adapted from Points Plus cookbook)
8 oz ground turkey
1/2 c grated cheese, divided (I prefer Pecorino Romano)
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c fat free milk
1 large egg white
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 oz) piece part skim mozzarella cut into 16 pieces (I know, right? I used a piece of string cheese)
2 cups fat free marinara sauce (I prefer the Barilla fire roasted sauce)
1/2 cup water
8 oz spaghetti
2 c thinly sliced escarole
Stir together turkey, 1/4 c cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, milk, egg white, garlic, and cayenne in a large bowl. Shape turkey mixture around cheese cube to form 16 meatballs.
Bring marinara sauce and water to a simmer in a large skillet. Add meatballs, cover, and simmer, stirring gently a few times, until meatballs are cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions, adding escarole during the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain.
Divide pasta mixture among 4 bowls; top evenly with meatballs and sauce; sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese.
(N.I.: 415 cal; 6 g fat; 61 g carb; 11 g fiber; 30 g prot; 10 points plus)
When I first noted that the escarole was added to the pasta, I was skeptical. I adore 'scarole, but generally eat it sauteed with garlic and olive oil. I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised that I loved the escarole with the marinara sauce. For such a simple recipe, this was very flavorful. In fact, I intend to make the meatballs again to use in sandwiches. They are very soft, but hold their shape well. Another filling, healthy dinner that you can feel good about serving.