Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paleo tomato pasta sauce with grass fed meat balls

Anyone living in southern cal knows its been hot the last couple of days.  Normally I wouldn't cook in the kitchen with 90 degree weather outside but with time constraints tonight I had to come up with something quick and easy.  

Tonights dish we served with rice pasta.  My knee therapy has gotten more intense and the extra bump in carbs makes a difference in the way my body feels during the recovery.  Plus I'm rediscovering the joys of push ups, dips and abdominal exercises so overall my body needs a little more zip.

Ingredients:
3 cans of roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 leek (or onion I just didn't have one)
2 lbs grass fed ground beef (90/10% works better than 80/20%)
3 garlic cloves
Mushrooms
1 cup of red wine (Doon Buggy!)
Parmesan cheese
Oregano or Italian seasoning
Salt n Pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional but would add a nice bite to this dish)


1. Heat pot over medium high heat.  I like to cook this in my stock pot as it doesn't splatter as much on my white stove and countertop.  Once pot is hot (does water dance when dropped on the bottom) gently add 1/2 cup of olive oil.  The oil will get hot quickly so be careful.  Then pour in the three cans of roasted tomatoes.  I keep the lid partially covering the pot when doing this so it doesn't splatter on me.  No need to stir the pot (unless you really want to).



2.  Prep three garlic cloves.  No need to chop up.  Normally I would chop an onion but the only onion like item in my fridge were three leeks.  Leeks are a great substitute for an onion in this dish.  If you have never cooked with them before, just barely cut off the root end, cut off the leaves area (where it gets dark green) and slice open like the pic below.



3.  The leek needs to be run under water and peel apart each layer to ensure all the dirt is removed.  Chop up and add the leeks, garlic, handful of mushrooms, salt, pepper, 1 cup of red wine and oregano to the sauce.  Still no need to stir as the tomatoes will boil it in.



 4. Grate about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese into a bowl.  Add some salt, pepper and oregano.   Then the 2lbs of ground beef (or veal, chicken, turkey etc).

 5. Using your hands mix the ingredients together.  Twist, knead, turn, mold until you are confident the flavors are evenly mixed.




6.  Now go ahead and mix the sauce.  It is still over medium high heat.




7.  Roll the mixed meat into meatballs and gently place into sauce.  The meatballs will be about 3/4 covered and thats OK.



8.  In about 10 minutes gently move the meatballs around so the tops get under the sauce.  Cook another 5 minutes and serve.



I forgot to take a picture of the adults plates before we chopped up the meatballs and mixed everything together...so here is the 3 year olds's plate, plastic fork included.


The only thing I would change in tonight's meal is gone with a leaner beef.  The 80/20 blend would work great with something (mmmm crusty bread) to soak it up.



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