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Grown Up Spaghetti & Meatballs: Post to End Childhood Hunger

I was invited to create a dish to help out Romano's Macaroni Grill and their national campaign to end childhood hunger.  Did you know 1 in 5 children are hungry in America?

"Macaroni Grill, in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, is doing something about it. Their goal is to connect kids to 1 Million Meals in the month of September – and they will do this with the help of bloggers nation wide."
If you would like to get involved, you can visit Romano's Macaroni Grill and donate $2, which will get you $5 off your next meal. You can also share a photo from Mac Grill Give on their Facebook  Gallery to connect a kid with 1 meal.
And now let's talk about Grown Up Spaghetti & Meatballs. What makes this a grown up dish? First, the meatballs are made from pork and have sorrel pesto*** in them. Second, the sauce starts with a can of tomatoes and then gets perked up by fresh ingredients. And finally, I used wholewheat spaghetti.

*** I made sorrel pesto by combining sorrel, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and salt

Grown Up Spaghetti & Meatballs

olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
28 ounces can crushed tomatoes
10 basil leaves, torn
optional: sugar
1 pound ground pork
1 egg
1/4 cup panko crumbs
3 tablespoon sorrel pesto {or whatever pesto you have}
salt & pepper
cooked wholewheat spaghetti
shaved Parmesan cheese {I just use a vegetable peeler for this. You can also just grate yours.}
fresh basil for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add an onion, carrots and garlic and saute for five minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and torn basil and simmer covered for twenty minutes. Taste and adjust the flavor by adding sugar, salt, and/or pepper.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine pork, egg, panko crumbs, pesto, salt & pepper. Make meatballs.
4. Brown meatballs in a separate pan in a bit of olive oil {I actually used bacon fat from the bacon I cooked earlier the day}.

5. Add browned meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer covered for fifteen minutes.
6. Serve meatballs and the sauce over cooked spaghetti topped with Parmesan and fresh basil.

This is a mild flavored dish perfect for the upcoming cooler weather. The sauce is chunky because of the chopped onions and sliced carrots. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can puree the sauce before adding the meatballs to it.

This dish is perfect for leftovers: I've eaten it three times already and have leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.


Georgina said...

That looks delicious! What a wonderful cause also :)

xo Georgina at: said...

Yum! Love the cheese shavings on top. Perfect spaghetti bowl!

Belinda @zomppa said...

That is a stunning dish - belongs in a four-star restaurant! Great initiative.

Dannii @Hungry Healthy Happy said...

Spaghetti and meatballs is such a classic and comforting dish. I like this twist on it too! said...

Pork meatballs are the best

Clay said...

Thanks for featuring No Kid Hungry, Olga!

DeliciousDish said...

Sounds very grown-up and looks very delicious!

mary said...

I wish I had these meatballs right now. (It's only 9:46 in the morning).