Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach
This is a great recipe for those of you out there who crave the taste of a good lasagna, but not the carbs associated with all of that pasta. Its delicious, and has earned a permanent spot in my dinner rotation. It was brought to me after I had my last baby. Honestly, when I opened the pan I wasn’t very excited. I mean, come on…where’s the pasta? I LOVE pasta. This all changed when I took a bite. I liked it SO much, I wore this recipe out. I had to put it on pause for a while. Well, it is coming out of hibernation and is going to hit our table again very, very soon. For now though, I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did!

Start out by getting a pound and a half of ground beef and putting it in a mixing bowl with one beaten egg.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Add to that some super finely diced onions.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Also add in your garlic, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, bread crumbs, and seasonings.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Mix well and make sure the egg is combined with the meat.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Roll into 1 inch balls.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Brown the meatballs in a skillet with a few tablespoons of oil.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Scoot the meatballs over the the side of the pan and add the rest of the garlic. Cook for 1 minute and then add the can of crushed tomatoes, salt & pepper, and crushed red pepper. Simmer for several minutes, coating the meatballs as you go.

Next, take your spinach and squeeze as much as the water out of it as possible. Heat some more olive oil in another pan and add in the rest of the chopped onions. When the onions are tender, add in the spinach, your chicken stock, and cream. Cook until thickened.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Place the cooked spinach mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Place the meatballs and sauce on top of the spinach. Cover with cheese.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Italian Meatballs with Creamed Spinach

Italian Meatballs with creamed spinach
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano
  • to taste salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2.5 cups Italian cheese blend
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • dash nutmeg
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 4 tsp garlic
Instructions
  1. Mix ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, finely diced ½ cup onion, 2 tsp garlic, parsley, salt & pepper, and parmigiano. Mix until combined.
  2. Form into balls 1 inch in diameter, and brown in 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  3. Move meatballs over to one side of the pan, and add the remaining garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute, and add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer over low heat.
  4. In a separate pan, heat up the remaining olive oil and add the onion. Sauté until onion is soft and add in spinach with the liquid mostly squeezed out. Add the chicken stock, cream, and nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes until thickened.
  5. Spread the spinach over the bottom of a pan and top with the meatballs and crushed tomato mixture. Cover with Italian cheese, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with fresh basil.

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