Monday, October 31, 2011

Mexican Pasta with Tomatillo Sauce and Meatballs

Second recipe from Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats. This one is not going to be a keeper for us. It was okay to make the first time, and it used ingredients I've never purchased before.

I never usually put jalapenos in our dishes, because I'm not so much of a spicy eater and my husband can only tolerate so many. My grandfather? You should have seen him put extra hot sauce on his plate!

This dish is incredibly hot. I was thinking about seeding the jalapenos before slicing them, and ended up not. I should have. I need to take a lesson in how to properly chop onions, too. Some pieces are too big while others are too small. I'm trying to take baby steps here!

I think I also overcooked my chicken meatballs, and they were a little on the dry side. These pack a bunch of flavor, though, which was okay but I didn't enjoy with the sauce. I guess I'm a red or white sauce kind of pasta person.

I also used the whole block of Manchego cheese. We love our cheese around here, and I piled it on high after finishing the pasta, which made it a little more bearable to eat.

So, if you like spicy, try this dish!

I missed a few photos because it was getting late and dinner should have been on the table an hour before it was ready. It took a lot of time to prep. I need to learn to prep first then prepare. Not prep while preparing.

All the ingredients you'll need. I did have a Mexican beer, but my grandfather took it from it's hiding spot and drank it. He said he didn't like it at all. So I ended up using this 55 calorie beer. I should have gone with the chicken stock.

The onions, jalapenos, garlic and tomatillos cooking in a pot with the beer.

The chicken meatballs after they were done cooking. Look at all the flavor!

My plate piled high with cheese! Just like I promised.

Mexican Pasta with Tomatillo Sauce and Meatballs
Recipe by: Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats Cookbook

coarse salt
1 pound fettuccine
extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground pork or chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon allspice
a few dashes hot sauce
coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, fully seeded and very thinly sliced
1 cup Mexican beer or chicken stock
20 tomatillos, peeled and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup grated Manchego cheese

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If an item says it's a staple item that means that I used so little of the full product that it wasn't worth the math to figure out each teaspoon, etc. Haha.

Total Price of Meal: $17.61

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta al dente.

2. While the pasta works, add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to a mixing bowl. Place the meat in the bowl. Add the egg, bread crumbs, cilantro, the thyme, scallions, allspice, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Form 2-inch meatballs and arrange on a rimmed nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. While the meatballs bake, make the sauce. Heat a deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the garlic, onions, and jalapenos. Cook for 5 minutes, add the beer or stock, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatillos and the cilantro, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and saucy, about 10 minutes.

4. To serve, toss the drained pasta with the sauce and meatballs and the Manchego cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

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