YumYum Divas YumYum Recipes: Baked Rigatoni With Mini Meatballs, contributed by grannyof8

Recipe Title: Baked Rigatoni With Mini Meatballs

Contributed by: grannyof8

Note from the Diva
Great casserole for potlucks.

List of Ingredients
Mini Meatballs
1/4 cup milk
1 slice good white bread trimmed of its crust
1 pound ground pork (or beef, or lamb, or a mix of the three)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan)
1 egg
Salt
black pepper in a grinder
1 cup flour, spread on a plate
vegetable oil for frying

Alternate Meatsauce
4 cups tomato sauce, or spagetti sauce, or can use Marinara sauce
1 pound ground round
4 cups cooked rigatoni (about 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

cooking spray

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh parmesan cheese (I used the Homestyle Parmesan-Romano cheese which comes in 6 oz. jar)

Preparation
Mini Meatballs
Heat the milk, but don’t let it simmer.

Tear pieces of the white bread into it and let it soak for 5 minutes, before picking it up with your hand, squeezing it of excess milk and putting it in a large mixing bowl.

Add the meat, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, egg, salt, and pepper.

Combine all the ingredients with a fork until they are evenly mixed

Pinch off a small lump of meat, about the size of a raspberry and roll the lump into a ball in the palm of your hands. (if you're good, you can roll 3 or 4 at a time in your palm.)

I used my small melon baller to form the balls.

When all the meatballs have been shaped, roll them in the flour, 15 to 20 at a time.

Place the floured meatballs in a strainer and shake it smartly to dispose of excess flour.

Put enough vegetable oil in a skillet to rise 1/4-inch up the sides of the pan and turn on the heat to medium high. When the oil is hot, put as many meatballs in the skillet as will fit without overcrowding. Brown them until they form a nice crust all around.

When one batch is done, transfer it with a slotted spoon to a platter covered with paper towels to drain and do the next batch until all are done.

If using Tomato Sauce; prepare it now

Preheat oven to 350°.
Alternate Meatsauce
Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble.
Drain well.
To Finish
Combine beef or meatballs, rigatoni, Tomato Sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan.

Serve with tossed salad and garlic bread sticks


Cooking Time & Temperature
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Number of Servings: Serves 8 or more; depending on appetites

Cookbook Category
Casserole

General Cooking/Prep Method
Bake

Extra Features of Recipe
Difficulty Level-Quick & Easy

Good for Season/Celebration/Holiday
Pot Luck

Tested & Approved Recipe
Yes!

Image
(Image by TwinLakesChef)
"Rigatoni with Mini Meatballs"
[ Comment ]

Image
(Image by TwinLakesChef)
"Shape the Meatballs"
[ Comment ]

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(Image by TwinLakesChef)
"Roll in Flour"
[ Comment ]

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(Image by TwinLakesChef)
"Brown in 1/4" oil"
[ Comment ]

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(Image by TwinLakesChef)
"Meatballs ready for sauce"
[ Comment ]

Posted by June_NMexico on Aug 31, 2010 11:25 AM CST:
I'm curious to know if this dish can be frozen. I don't have a lot of time for cooking and prefer to do larger batches and freeze them.

It sounds delicious!

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