Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chinese Spaghetti & Meatballs

My cousin posted a status on FB the other day about making this.  I was intrigued and asked her to forward me the recipe.  You can certainly leave out the chicken or use shrimp in it's place to make it a vegetarian dish.  I also left out the five-spice powder, my Shop Rite was out of it.  I used the ground chicken.  I also left out the spinach, because my kids don't like spinach.  AND I forgot to add the sesame seeds. 
It was a HUGE success around here!  The kids have asked for it every day since.  Another note, I cooked the meatballs until they were crisp, which was closer to 30 minutes.  

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti 
1 pound ground pork or chicken 
1 egg 
2 cups puffed rice cereal 
Black pepper 
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, 1/3 palm full 
8 scallions, 2 finely chopped, 6 cut into 2-inch lengths 
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup tamari dark soy, divided 
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 
2 cups snow peas, thinly sliced on an angle 
1 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced 
2 inches ginger root, grated 
4 cloves garlic, grated 
1 pound triple washed spinach, leaves stripped of larger stems, coarsely chopped 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, available on Asian foods aisle of market 
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, available on Asian foods aisle of market 


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place a pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it comes to a boil, salt the water and add pasta to cook to al dente. Heads up: reserve 1/2 cup cooking water just before draining.
  • Place pork in a mixing bowl. Add the egg to the bowl. Place rice cereal in food processor and pulse into a bread crumb like consistency. Add cereal crumbs to bowl.
  • Add salt, pepper, five-spice powder, 2 chopped scallions and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Mix the meat balls thoroughly. Form 1 1/2-inch balls and coat with 1 tablespoon oil, scatter onto a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes.
  • When the meatballs are close to done and the pasta is in, heat a large skillet over high heat with enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the skillet, a couple of tablespoons. Add the snow peas, red pepper, remaining cut scallions, ginger and garlic, stir-fry 2 minutes add spinach and wilt, 1 minute. Add the remaining soy sauce, about 1/3 cup, and the sesame oil.   Then drain the pasta, add in pasta cooking water and toss to combine so pasta can soak up sauce, about 1 minute. Garnish with sesame seeds and top with lots of meatballs.

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