Spaghetti and Meatball Bites:
12 ounce spaghetti
3 eggs, divided
1 1/2 cup mozzarella
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided + more for garnish
3 Cups Marinara, divided (your favorite jar will work, I prefer homemade)*
Cooking Spray for Pan
1 pound beef (chicken or turkey can be substituted)
1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBL Freshly chopped parsley
1 TBL Olive Oil
Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees
Cook Spaghetti until al dente per package instructions as the noodles will continue to cook in the oven. Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a large bowl, toss cooled spaghetti with 2 beaten eggs, shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated parmesan and 1 cup marinara.
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and nest the spaghetti mixture insides. Firmly press down in the center (I use a shot glass)
Bake until set, 15 minutes. Let cool. If the nest puffed up during cooking, press down in the center again with the shot glass.
While the spaghetti cups bake, make the meatballs.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, garlic, remaining egg, 1/4 c parmesan, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Roll in to balls.
Large skillet, add oil. Brown meatballs, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain fat.
Pour 2 cups of marinara sauce over the meatballs and let simmer 5 minutes.
Spoon one meatball onto the spaghetti next. garnish with extra parmesan and parsley if desired.
*Homemade Marinara Sauce
Ingredients 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 medium onion, minced 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes - CENTO 1 tsp. dried oregano Pinch red pepper flakes Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 large sprigs fresh basil
In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Pour in tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to break tomatoes into chunks. Fill tomato can almost halfway with water and swirl to catch any remaining sauce, then add to skillet. Season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and stir in basil. Bring mixture to simmer.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 20 minutes. Discard basil before serving.