Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crowning Glory!

Every Princess...Every Prince...Needs a Crown!
Meatballs Mafaldine with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

Mafaldine, also known as Reginette,
(Italian for little queens), is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta.

Mafaldine were named in honor of  Princess Mafalda of Savoy (thus the alternative name "little queens").

Just outside Naples and the Amalfi coast, Gragnano is reputed as the birthplace of dried pastaThis flat and wide pasta noodle is usually about ½ inch in width, with wavy edges on both sides. It is prepared similarly to other ribbon-based pasta such as linguine and fettuccine.

I find that these wonderful ribbons hold up beautifully to a fire roasted tomato sauce and a little bit of heat!

By the request of my dear friend Jaime, I am happy to share my recipe...

Bite into these glorious meat-a-balls, crowned with mafaldine, find the hidden gem tucked beneath the basil leaf, savor the flavors layered within the fire-roasted tomato sauce and enjoy a royal feast!

Meatballs Mafaldine with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce: 
(or perhaps more accurately titled:  "Little Queens"...or "princess meatballs" :)

Servings: 4

2 pound(s) of Lean ground beef *

1/2 cup(s) of Shredded asiago cheese

1/2 cup(s) of Italian flavored panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. of Oregano

6 ounce(s) of Cream cheese

4 Cloves garlic, minced

 2 tbsp. of Olive Oil

1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 Pkg. (approx. 1/2 lb.) Mafaldine pasta noodles 

*(if you cannot find mafaldine noodles, you may substitute lasagna noodles sliced in half lengthwise)*

8 Mozzarella balls (cherry size)


 Mix ground beef with bread crumbs,2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp oregano, 4 oz. cream cheese and ¼ cup shredded asiago cheese

 Form approx. eight large meatballs.

 In large skillet drizzle one Tbsp olive oil into pan and cook meatballs until browned on all sides. Remove and transfer to baking pan and place in 350 degree oven for approx 20-30 minutes until cooked through.

In same large skillet, scrape meat bits from pan and add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 cloves garlic. Sauté over medium heat for one or two minutes until garlic is softened and aromatic.

 Stir in tomatoes and remaining 2 oz. cream cheese and allow to heat through until bubbly.
Remove from heat.

 In large pot, bring water to boil and add noodles until cooked al denté…approx. eight minutes. Drain and add a bit of cool water to pot and leave in cool water until remaining ingredients are ready.

 Return sauce to burner and simmer over low heat.

 Remove meatballs from oven.

 On large platter, drizzle a small amount of sauce and top w/ a few noodles.

 One at a time, insert a toothpick into mozzarella ball and meatball. Wrap noodle around, securing with another toothpick. Place on top of noodles and sauce already on platter. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle w/ remaining asiago...once in place, remove toothpicks and...
(serve with your favorite salad and bread)

 Gustare il pasto!
~ (enjoy the meal) ~

 *I often make this with lean ground turkey instead of ground beef  (making sure turkey is fully cooked w/no pink)

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