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Old 10-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Ricotta-Cream Cheese Meatballs on Zoodles


I came across a lovely picture of meatballs recently and was smitten with this idea. This is not your mama's classic “saucy” spaghetti and meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving. But an adequate tomato-y edge was there and made this a delightfully light and tasty dish. I LOVED IT, so did hubby, although he had his on Dreamfields pasta.

Although it’s just me and my husband, I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on. This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs each. Adjust your recipe size as your needs dictate.

MEATBALLS:

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)
1 lb. ground pork
2 beaten eggs
½ c. ricotta cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed
¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended. Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms. Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:

3 T. olive oil
½ c. celery, chopped
4 oz. onion, chopped
¼ c. bell pepper, chopped
5 large mushrooms, chopped
1 25.5 oz. jar Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, 4 NC per ½c. serving (total 3 c. if using your own sauce)
2/3 c. parsley, chopped
3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE: Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan. Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender. Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat. Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking. Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”: VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash or Dreamfields pasta

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)
1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES: Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler (what I use) or the more expensive tools like the counter-top Spirooli that is designed to do this much faster. Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent. DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION: Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each plate. Top with 1/2 c. sauce. Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALLS: Makes 20 meatballs, 2 per serving. Each serving contains:
290 calories, 23 g fat, 1.18 g carbs, .8 g fiber, .38 g NET CARBS and 20.2 g protein, 155 mg sodium and 187 mg potassium

SAUCE: Makes ten 3/4 c. servings of sauce. Each serving contains:
97 calories, 7.2 g fat, 7.27 g carbs, 1.93 g fiber, 5.34 g NET CARBS, 2.24 g protein, 306 mg sodium and 144 mg potassium

ZUCCHINI NOODLES: Makes about 9-10 servings noodles. Each 3 oz serving contains:
59 calories, 4.7 g fat, 4.2 g carbs, 1.4 g fiber, 2.8 g NET CARBS 1.5 g protein
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My recipe website: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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These look delicious. Wonderful photo and presentation, thanks for the recipe!

Dee
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Wow Peggy that looks so good.Yum!!!
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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Oh I love these type of recipes- I can put them over pasta for my scrawny boys, and zoodles for me. Thank you!!
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Yum! I could probably eat more then 2 though, maybe 4 or even 5.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Thanks ladies. They were VERY good. Andi, even my husband, a big eater, could only eat 3 (and the other half of the one I tasted to see if this dish was good enough to post on my blog). Maybe the ricotta and cream cheese make them to rich to indulge the way one usually does with meatballs. Dunno. The meat I used was 90% lean so they don't really shrink up during cooking, so they were still virtually 1½" when done. I weighed a couple and each one weighed right around 1½ oz. after cooking. I'm doing a potato hack this week so I didn't really eat this meal other than to taste it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:19 AM   #7
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Must try these!!!
Thanks for sharing, Peggy!

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Old 10-10-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
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Let me know how you like them, Momof2.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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Peggy, these sound and look so good! I will be making these this weekend. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:16 PM   #10
Very Gabby LCF Member!!!
 
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You're in for a treat, Meo. Let me know how you like them!
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