So it’s that time of year, the squirrels are stealing patio furniture stuffing, to carry up the trees and it driving me absolutely crazy. I thought that ended there, but I noticed my basil plants look a little… manhandled and distressed. So that’s where I drew the line. So, although I’m trying and working on it. I have absolutely no green thumb. But I must pat myself on the back because its getting a little better. So this unprompted attack on my basil was a big blow and now personal. So I collected a good portion of the plant. I just want it outside as much as it can be before I have to bring everyone in before the real cold sets in.
With that being said I’ve been having to think of ways to utilize all this basil. Meatballs came to mind and I love meatballs, but I live in a household where everyone prefers a meat sauce. So meatballs around here are pretty rare. I also love bucatini, It’s literally the perfect pasta to receive marinara sauce. The key to utilizing bucatini perfectly is to finish it in the sauce always. Otherwise bucatini really has a hard time wrapping around a fork. Try out this recipe if you’re in the same basil situation as I am or if you just like bucatini and meatballs and make sure to let me know what you think.
- 16oz Bucatini Pasta
- 1lb Ground Pork
- 2lb Ground beef
- 3/4c Dried Bread, cubed
- 1/2c Milk
- 5 Leaves Basil, chopped
- 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
- 6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
- 2Tb Olive Oil
- 1Tb Garlic Powder
- 1 Egg
- 1Tb Salt
- 1tsp Black Pepper
- 1tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1tsp oregano
- 1/4tsp lavender, optional
- 2Tb Flat leaf Parsley, chopped
- 1/4c Romano Cheese, grated
- 2-28oz Cans Crushed Tomatoes
- 6 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 2Tb olive oil
- 6 Leaves Basil
- 1tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2Tb Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1/2c White Wine
- 1Tb Parsley
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese
- Basil leaves
- MEATBALLS: To make meatballs start off by heating olive oil in a pan and sautéing onions, bell peppers and garlic for 5 minutes. Then allow to cool completely.
- Add milk to dried bread and let sit till absorbed.
- Combine ground pork and beef along with cooled onion mixture, and soaked bread.
- Add in the egg and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lavender, oregano, parsley, cheese, and black pepper and form in 2 oz balls.
- Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare marinara.
- MARINARA: To make marinara heat olive oil in a pan on low and let garlic and crushed red pepper flakes infuse into oil for bout 10 minutes. Make sure garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add in crushed tomatoes, paste, cheese and white wine. Let simmer while meatballs are in the oven. Once Its slightly thickened. Add in basil, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once meatballs are done throw into marinara to simmer while pasta is boiling.
- BUCATINI: Fill a stock pot with water and heavily season with salt. Bring to a boil and drop pasta. Boil according to package instructions.
- Reserve 1/2 c of pasta water and drain pasta.
- In a pan add pasta, the reserved water and a couple ladle fulls of sauce and simmer for about 1 minute. Once ready to serve top with the remainder of sauce and meatballs along with basil, cheese and crushed red peppers. Enjoy!