Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pillage Pasta

As I type this we are in the process of moving. I am certain I hate nothing more than moving, but it is a necessity in order to afford life with our pint size pirate. However moving is expensive, and I am often left with very little food left and 3 days until payday. This is when I get creative and often come up with some of my best recipes.

This recipe was basically a pantry raid of what I had in the house and it ended up being a delicious meal.

Pillage Pasta


One 16oz package vermicelli (or pasta of choice)

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 Fresh Basil Leaves
4 cloves garlic
4 T minced garlic
1 Ciabatta Loaf
2 T Butter
2 Eggs
1/4 c Parmesan Cheese (Romano works too)
1 tube Smart Ground Soy Meat (or sub real meat: 1lb ground beef, 1/2lb veal, 1/2lb pork)
1 package Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes (I used butter & herb)
1/2 c Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1 tap Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Parsley (I used dried, but use fresh if you have it, just use more)
Olive Oil


Tomato Sauce

Feel free to use a jarred sauce if you have that in your pantry too.
In a large sauce pan sauté 2 Garlic cloves, minced in olive oil just until golden. Add in can of crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer add in torn basil and cover. Let simmer at least 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees and boil salted water for the pasta.


Prepare mashed potatoes by following package instruction, but omit the butter or oil. Set aside to cool. In a bowl combine eggs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning and parsley. In another bowl mix together Smart Ground and bread crumbs by hand. Add cooked potatoes and egg mixture. Continue mixing with your hands until incorporated. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 smashed garlic cloves to flavor oil, remove before they burn. Roll a small test meatball and cook to ensure seasoning is right. Roll the remaining meatballs into golf ball size balls and cook until brown on all sides and cooked through. Around 2-3 minutes a side. Drain on paper towels.

Garlic Bread

Slice Ciabatta Loaf in half lengthwise, and then again width wise so you have four even size pieces. Spread butter onto bread and and then spread a tablespoon of minced garlic onto each piece. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes, broil until golden brown. Keep an eye on it so you don't burn the garlic.


Cook vermicelli one minute less than the package instructions. In the skillet combine pasta, sauce, and 1/2 c pasta water and toss together. Cook on medium-low heat for 2 minutes.

Plate and top with desired number of meatballs and some more Parmesan.

Servings 6-8

The First Mate sharing his pasta.
Enjoying his Pillage Pasta, no meatballs.

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