Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fagioli Balls with Spaghetti Squash for the Whole Family

Pasta e Fagioli is one of my family's favorite meals. It's a staple in our house, so I've been trying to come up with more creative ways to serve it. This meal has the same flavor as spaghetti and meatballs, but is a healthy vegetarian option. The texture is a little different than regular meatballs, but they're so yummy you definitely wont be missing the meat. This meal is made almost entirely with super foods like legumes, kale, squash, and whole grains. It's a delicious meal that's healthy, but doesn't taste it! This is for little ones 10+ months who are ready for finger foods, and Mommies and Daddies of all ages.

Here's what you need for 4 to 6 servings:
1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained (divided)
1 cup microwaveable brown rice
Handful of pine nuts
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg gently beaten
1 large spaghetti squash halved lengthwise
1 jar organic marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle olive oil in shallow baking dish and place spaghetti squash halves face down on the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop out squash into bowls.

Put 1/2 cannellini can in to food processor (reserve rest) and blend until smooth about 15 seconds. Place reserved beans and blended beans in a large mixing bowl. Cook microwaveable brown rice according to package and then add to mixing bowl. Add pine nuts, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, kale, nutmeg, egg, 3/4 tsp salt, and pepper. Mix together with your hands, and then form into small balls. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Place fagioli balls around the skillet and cook turning every so often until golden brown and crispy on outside (about 5 to 7 minutes). While the fagioli balls are cooking, pour the marinara sauce into a pot and heat. Place fagioli balls in sauce and let simmer for 5 or so minutes. The balls will continue to cook in sauce. Place fagioli sauce over spaghetti squash and serve. Make sure to cut the squash and balls up into bite size pieces for your little one and make sure to let cool before serving. Enjoy!

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