Friday, March 11, 2011

Chinese Style Spaghetti and Meatballs

I have about three channels that I flip through:  E, Bravo, and Food Network (I'm not proud...).  The other day when I was flipping through I saw Ms Rachel Ray making this recipe.  I was very intrigued by it.  Taking a dinner classic and putting a Chinese twist on it..LOVE IT!  I like the idea of making your own Chinese food.  You can save so many calories and fat by doing it yourself and knowing exactly what is going into your food. 

What you need:

  • 1 lbs whole wheat pasta
  • 1 lbs ground chicken (ground pork would be good too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs 
  • 1/2 tsp chinese five spice
  • scallions
  • 2 tbs plus 1/3 c tamari (dark soy sauce)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-3 c snow peas
  • garlic
  • sesame oil
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional) 

Boil water in a large pot for the pasta and pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.  While that comes to a boil and the oven heats up, start on the meatballs.  In a bowl mix the chicken with an egg...

Two scallions cut into small rings...

The panko bread crumbs...

2 tbs tamari...

1/2 tsp Chinese five spice.  FYI...Rachel used 1 tsp (which I did too) but, I feel like it is a very powerful spice and it was a little overwhelming.  I think that 1/2 tsp would be perfect.  The choice is up to you!

Mix all the ingredients together.  I recommend using your hands, get in there, get agressive and make sure it is good and mixed.  You will have to use your hands eventually anyway.  Also, it is an oddly gross/satisfying experience.  When good and mixed, form into 1 inch balls.

Action shot by Mike...

Put onto a greased cookie sheet.  We lined the sheet with tin foil and then rubbed it with veggie oil.  It makes clean up really easy!  (you could use Pam instead of oil)

Place the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes, turning once in during the cooking time.  

While they bake, prep the veggies.  Wash and clip the stem end of the snow peas.

Cut the rest of the scallions into 2 inch pieces and the red bell pepper into long, thin slices.

By this point, your water should be at a boil.  If not, you are either really quick or you forgot to turn on the stove!  Salt and add the pasta to the boiling water.  Follow the directions on the box for cooking the spaghetti to al dente.  For our brand (wegman's super pasta) it was 11 minutes.  

Mike took me literally when I told him to stay still...

Such a lovable nerd...


In the largest skillet you have add veggie oil, enough to coat the bottom.  Heat on high.

When the oil ripples (indicates it is really hot) add the veggies.

and the garlic...

cook for 2 minutes
(another action shot by mike)
While the veggies cook, mix the rest of the tamari and the sesame oil.  Then add to the veggies.

Before you drain the pasta reserve a bit of the starchy pasta water.

Drain the pasta and then add the pasta into the skillet with the vegetables.
Using tongs, work the sauce and veggies through the pasta (this is why you need a BIG skillet!)

Add some of the starchy water, just to make it moist.  It doesn't take much.  At this point all the components of the meal should be done.  Get the meatballs out and get ready to plate.

Plate by putting a good portion of the spaghetti and veggies in a bowl and top with a few of the meatballs.

This meal was so yummy.  The meatballs get a nice crust on the outside and the pasta has a great Chinese taste.  It is also a meal you can feel good about.  The whole wheat pasta adds fiber and protein that other pastas don't offer.  The leftovers are also really good!  I took it for lunch and didn't bother nuking it (another weird quirk about me, I like leftovers cold) and it was AWESOME!  This recipe does make a lot so, either have it when you have company or get ready for a lot of leftovers!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.  Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious, I made something similar one time but glazed the meatballs in teriyaki.