I don’t know if it’s the holidays, or just that I’m in month twelve of living gluten-free, but damn did I almost have a relapse yesterday. You see, my daughter had a school function at 10am, which I thought was a safe time — food-wise. Yet when I arrived there was a huge table that stretched all the way to the end of my rope, filled with donuts, bagels, kugel, sugar cookies and latkes. It was a gluten extravaganza and I thought I was going to lose my ever-lovin’ mind. The gluten envy hit me hard yesterday and no manner of stuffing myself with meat and cheese could drive it away. Then it hit me: I had to have pizza.
I found myself driving by Pizza Hut. Yep, it was bad. So I decided the only way to get this out of my system was to make some homemade meatballs and bust out the gluten-free spaghetti and surprisingly, this was a huge hit with every member of my family. Which is kind of sad when you think about it, since the last time we actually ate Italian food together was before I was diagnosed and that one time I made gluten-free pizza. Which I don’t even think counts because it was nothing like going out to eat at all. Clearly my family has been suffering due to my celiac. Even though their suffering means less carbs, I don’t think anyone in my family of four actually is trying to diet. Especially not the two-year-old.
But dry your tears, family, for these big spicy meatballs atop of some gf spaghetti totally hit the spot.
Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes
2 pounds ground beef or turkey (we used turkey)
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 slice gluten-free bread, torn into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 cup ricotta
1 24- to 26-ounce jar pasta sauce, warmed
1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion, gf bread, garlic, egg, parsley, oil, Italian seasoning, salt, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper.
2. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta and the remaining Parmesan and pepper; set aside.
4. Remove the meatballs from oven and turn on broiler. Spoon a few teaspoons of the ricotta mixture onto each meatball. Broil until the ricotta browns, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve on top of the warmed pasta sauce and your tasty gluten-free pasta (which you totally cooked right before the broiling, right?).
Makes: 8 servings