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Last month was incredible in regards to my work! I implemented a calendar and planning system that has really increased my productivity from day to day. It is amazing how a little planning and scheduling has freed up some extra time I have been so anxious for! As a busy working mom, I rarely have time to come up with a new recipe. I tend to make the same dinners over and over. This week I had a WHOLE DAY off from work, thanks to my new calendar. With that free day I decided to come up with a new, simple recipe. One that I can make when things get crazy and hectic. That is how my Taco Spiced Meatballs & Marinara was born! A delicious and easy recipe, that I now want to make every day…
Before I came up with my recipe I knew I wanted Barilla pasta to be the center of it. I love Barilla, the way it is always perfectly al dente, and how they incorporate health conscious ingredients, it is amazing! But I was looking for something out of the ordinary. Something that would be more exciting than your generic pasta and marinara. I had to check out some of my friends blogs for ideas and found a ton of recipe inspiration from them. I loved clicking through all their recipes and ended up with a lot of different tasty ideas.
After browsing their pages for inspiration, I decided to create a fusion of my two favorite food cultures. Barilla is the perfect blank canvas for your favorite Latin flavors. So I created my Taco Spiced Meatball and Marinara recipe. I know a recipe is a success when there are absolutely NO leftovers. Kris couldn’t get enough and even Zoey is asking when I am going to make this dish again! It was so simple to cook up. You can even make a large batch of the meatballs and freeze them for future dinners if you want. Keep reading for the recipe.
Taco Spiced Meatballs & Marinara Pasta Recipe
For the meatballs:
– 1 pound ground beef (or other meat of choice!)
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
– 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning
– 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
– 1/4 of an onion, minced
For the salsa marinara and pasta:
– a box of Barilla Penne pasta from Safeway (head HERE for a coupon for this item)
– 1 fresh vine ripened tomato
– 1 jar of Barilla marinara from Safeway (head HERE for a coupon for this item)
– a bunch of cilantro
– a few limes
Taco Spiced Meatballs & Marinara Recipe Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2. Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Roll into small rounds and place on a baking sheet. I did my meatballs about a third the size of regular meatballs because they pack a lot of flavor, and I don’t eat a lot of meat!
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are completely cooked through.
5. While they are baking, boil the water for the Barilla Penne pasta. Then follow the directions on the box to cook the penne pasta. I love that Barilla is always al dente (and always perfect!).
6. While the pasta is cooking, dice up your fresh tomato, chop about 4 tablespoons of cilantro very fine, and slice the avocado into thin slices.
7. Mix about one cup of Barilla marinara, the chopped tomato, and the chopped cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze in the juice of one lime.
8. Put pasta on serving plates. Top with meatballs, drizzle the salsa marinara over top, and garnish with a slice of avocado and a sprig of fresh cilantro. You can also put a lime wedge on each plate, then… Enjoy!!
This dish is easily a new family favorite! And I love that it makes my life as a busy working mama, easier and tastier. This whole recipe only requires a few steps beyond traditional marinara and meatballs, but it tastes a whole lot yummier. I am actually kind of proud of myself that I came up with this recipe all on my own… Usually I am all over pinterest for recipe inspo, but this was straight from my brain! It is amazing how your creativity increases when you have a second to sit down and kick your feet up for one day!
Have you ever created an out of the ordinary pasta dish? What was it?! Right now Barilla has a contest going on with lots of amazing prizes, everyone wins at least a coupon! Head here to enter, and be sure to check out all my blogger friends delicious Barilla recipes as well!
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