As we enter week two of quarantine, I find myself digging in the pantry and freezer to see what we have. I then consult my Pinterest page to see if saved any recipes with those ingredients. Today’s dish took like two minutes to prepare and eight hours of refrigeration before throwing it in the oven. This four ingredient dinner was so easy and pretty tasty. As many of you are balancing work, teaching your children/keeping them busy, and trying to get in some outside time, I hope you enjoy this one dish recipe.
Make-Ahead Spaghetti and Meatballs Casserole by Pillsbury
Dry spaghetti or macaroni noodles (7 oz.)
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 c. water
12 frozen meatballs
Spray a 2 Qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with noodles. Top with water and marinara sauce. Stir to mix. Top with meatballs and roll in sauce. Cover and place refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake an addition 5-10 minutes.
- I used a half box of macaroni noodles because I wanted to use them up. They work pretty good. I’d just not suggest a bigger noodle like a penne.
- We used a half bag of frozen meatballs. You could make your own meatballs if you’d prefer. We used chicken but beef or turkey meatballs would be just fine.
- We really like Jasper’s marinara sauce but use whatever sauce you prefer. Again, you could make your own marinara sauce.
- We love Gino’s Basil and Oregano Parmesan Cheese (you know, from the famous Chicago pizzeria. We buy ours at HyVee). If you prefer, you can use shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
- We did not have any fresh parsley or basil. I use dried parsley and the cheese had my other Italian seasoning.
- Dinner was served with frozen garlic bread and LaDoga Ridge Winery Toad-a-lope.
One of the things Jeremiah and I really enjoy doing is wine tasting. We like to go on little day trips as well as while we are on vacation. A few of our favorite places are Somerset Ridge (just past the Louisburg Cider Mill on the Miami County Wine Trail), Van Till Winery and Family Farm (great wood-fired pizzas on the weekends just outside of Excelsior Springs), and Windy Wine Company (east of St. Joseph off Hwy 36). Another little winery in downtown Weston actually got us to join their wine club.
The first winery Jeremiah and I visited together was Pirtle Winery – located in a historic church just off Main Street. Downtown Weston has lots of great shops. I love the community food pantry and charming kitty cat outside the photography shop. This little town really isn’t any bigger than where I grew up but really developed tourism around wine tasting, local food, unique shops, and B&B stays. Once a quarter, the Weston Wine Company host their monthly book club…aka an excuse to drink wine and pick-up your free bottle. In August, the book featured was “What to Eat with What You Drink.” You don’t need to buy or even read the book, they give you the Cliff Notes version during the event. Since the book was about pairings, they had matched each of their wines with a recipe. One of our favorites was the Italian Quesadilla served with a semi-sweet red (Radiant Cut Wine). At the winery, they sell a pepperoni cheese. I told Jeremiah that I thought we should buy a block and use it with fresh basil. Jeremiah says that kicked it up a bit. This is our take on this non-traditional quesadilla.
Italian Quesadilla by Weston Wine Company (modified by Amber Bourek Slater)
1 lb. ground Italian sausage (we used Scimeca’s turkey sausage)
1 apple (red preferred)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese (or pepperoni cheese if you can find it)
Flour tortilla shells (we like high fiber Mission shells)
Dice the apple. Cook the ground sausage and apple. Cover half a tortilla shell with sausage mixture, basil, and cheeses. Fold over. Cook on medium for 3 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 1 ½ minutes (or until golden brown).