Monday, October 5, 2009

Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna

Check out the remake of this dish at the bottom of this post!

MAKE PLANS FOR THE GROCERY STORE NOW! This was an amazing dinner. I'm honestly frustrated that I halved the recipe. What was I thinking?! We could have eaten the whole recipe! Granted we would have eaten the rest for leftovers another day, but still. I think my sous chef gave me wife of the year for this recipe. :) This is a low-carb meal, and be sure to read below the recipe for the little bits that I did to make this recipe ours.

I took a trip back to Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Get Real Meals cookbook for this recipe, and it's part of the 'Well-Rounded Square Meals' chapter.

1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (you can eliminate this for a lower carb meal if you'd like)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley (a fistful of leaves), chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano (a couple of generous handfuls)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 can (14 ounces) chunky-style crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded provolone cheese or Italian 4 cheese-blend

2 tablespoons E.V.O.O.
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 10-ounce boxes chopped spinach, defrosted
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
A generous grating of fresh nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat the broiler.

Place the ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl and punch a well into the center of the meat. Fill the well with the egg, bread crumbs, onion, half of the chopped garlic, half of the parsley, the Parmigiano and Romano cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Mix the meatball ingredients until well combined yet not overmixed. Divide into 4 equal parts, then roll each part into 5 balls. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Scoot the meatballs to the side of the skillet and add the remaining garlic and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, mix to combine. Shake the skillet to coat the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes more. While the meatballs are simmering, start the spinach.

Heat the medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. While the onion is cooking, transfer the defrosted spinach to a clean kitchen towel and wring all the liquid out. Add the spinach, chicken stock, and cream to the skillet. Season with nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Spread the spinach mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.Top with the meatballs and tomato sauce. Top that with the shredded provolone or Italian four-cheese blend. Place under the preheated broiler about 6 inches from the heat to melt and evenly brown the cheese about 3 minutes.

Remove no-sagna from the broiler and garnish with lots of torn or shredded basil.

Doesn't that look completely delicious?!?!?! Ok, so I already told you that I halved the recipe. Well, in doing so, I obviously halved the amount of tomates. Well, as I did, I noticed there just wasn't enough tomatoes to the meat even though I halved the meat, too. So, I ended up using the entire can of tomatoes instead of half of it. If you are making the full recipe, you should probably buy 2 cans of the tomatoes. Also, I found that 'Hunt's Diced Tomatoes in Sauce' were absolutely perfect!
For the cheese, I actually bought a bag of Kraft cheese that was a 5 cheese blend instead of 4. It was very very tasty, and I would suggest buying that bag! As for the nutmeg, I used ground nutmeg, and it tasted fine.

Extremely delicious meal! Make it and tell me what you think :)

January 24, 2011

As promised above, here is a remake of this dish!  After finding out that I have Celiac Disease and need to live gluten-free, I challenged myself to go back and make some of my favorite recipes on Krista Kooks that were gluten-ful yet make them gluten-free.  This was an easy choice!  Of course, I could simply leave out the breadcrumbs, but that’s no fun!  Instead, I simply had some gluten-free bread on hand in the freezer that I popped in the toasted oven to dry out for use as breadcrumbs.Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna 4

In order to make them Italian, I used some Italian seasoning that I’d made previously for some other recipe.  Adding several teaspoons of this seasoning provided me the Italian season breadcrumbs I needed.

Other than this slight modification, you just need to be sure that your chicken broth or stock is gluten free.  Those should be the only ingredients you need to watch out for in making this recipe gluten-free.

The sous chef and I agreed that this recipe was just as good, if not better, as we remembered it.  There’s been some peaked interested in this recipe lately (yes, I can see you visiting Winking smile ), so I hope this provides a new and interesting way to make this low-carb and now gluten-free meal!  It’s definitely a Krista Kooks favorite for many!Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna 2

Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna 3

Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna


  1. yum...that looks good!

  2. What a marvelous looking meal! Gotta get the courage up to make that one day. Thanks!



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