FOOD-QUICKFIX-MCT

Spaghetti and meatballs

Tasty, light meatballs in a rich pasta sauce are an American favorite. The meatballs in this recipe are made with bread soaked in water and squeezed dry. This makes them very light and fluffy.

The meatballs taste even better the second day. If you have time, make extra and serve them for another quick dinner. Complete the meal with a washed ready-to-eat Italian style salad.

Helpful hints:

• Any type of onion can be used instead of the frozen chopped onion.

• A quick way to chop sage is to snip the leaves with a scissors.

• A food processor can be used to combine the ingredients. Try not to over process them. The meat will become too compact.

• Use a flat spatula to turn the meatballs. A spoon might break the meatballs.

Countdown:

• Place large pot of water for pasta on to boil.

• Make the meatballs.

• Cook the spaghetti.

• Complete the dish.

Shopping List:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s dinner in minutes.

To buy: 1/2 pound 95% lean ground sirloin, 1 small bunch fresh sage (or dried sage), 1 small bottle reduced-sodium pasta sauce, 1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 package raisins, 1 loaf whole wheat bread, and 1 package spaghetti.

Staples: olive oil, garlic, egg, salt and black peppercorns.

Spaghetti And Meatballs

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 slices whole wheat bread

1/2 pound lean ground sirloin

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

8 fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)

1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

2 tablespoons raisins

1 large egg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup reduced-sodium pasta sauce

3/4 cup water (for sauce)

1/4 pound spaghetti

Soak the bread in 1 cup water until soft. Combine ground sirloin, garlic, sage, onion, raisins and egg in a bowl or food processor. Remove bread from water and squeeze out excess water. Blend into meat mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form into balls about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. It should make 4 meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. Mix the pasta sauce and water together. Lower the heat to medium and add the sauce. Simmer gently 10 minutes, carefully turning the meatballs once.

While meatballs simmer, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook 9 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and divide between 2 dinner plates. Serve meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 630 calories (26% from fat), 18.3 g fat (4.8 g saturated, 7.1 g monounsaturated), 167 mg cholesterol, 39.1 g protein, 74.6 g carbohydrates, 6.7 g fiber, 212 mg sodium.

— Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.