I hate broccoli and cauliflower. I have had them roasted, served with an amazing sauce, even Les Bouquinistes can not get me to like them. So I am looking for ways to eat these foods. I read Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and it gave me some great ideas of how to sneak in pureed veggies. I started with broccoli. I bought a large bag from Costco, I steamed them, I pureed them and put cup fulls in little baggies (which I then put all those little baggies into a big freezer baggie). Now I have frozen puree on-hand to throw into dishes whenever I want. I have put the purees into chili (a fav.), spaghetti sauce, sauteed veggies, pesto. I have put pureed cauliflower into mashed potatoes and my family (and I) have loved it all. You really can not tell that it is there. I am still playing with ways to sneak it in. If you are picky like me, I challenge you to try sneaking in some broccoli xoxoxoxo
Pasta With Broccoli Meatballs, Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms
Tips for the meatballs:
You can take any recipe you love and add the broccoli puree. Just remember you are adding moisture and so decrease your other wet ingredients.
I make my meatballs on the wet side for a tender meatball. I bake my meatballs or cook them strait in the sauce I am serving them. If you want to fry them in a pan, these will not work well. They are to wet and fragile.
Do not over mix.
Keep them on the small side.
You can make meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Bake off frozen, they will only take a few minutes longer.
For the meatballs
1 pd. ground beef or turkey or chicken
1/2 cup of broccoli puree
1 cup plain bread crumbs (I use panko, I get from the bulk section)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or smashed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1 TBL. smoked paprika
Gently mix all ingredient and roll into balls. They can be any size, but when serving them with pasta I like to make very small ones. Like the size of a walnut. Set on cookie sheet to bake. They can be close together but not touching. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Till cooked on the inside but browned on the outside.
For the pasta
1 1/2 pounds uncooked pasta (cook while meatballs are baking)
Roasted red peppers, chopped
<<<< amounts is to your liking
Salt and pepper
Gently toss cooked pasta with meatballs, mushroom, roasted peppers, salt and pepper. If pasta seems to dry, drizzle a bit of olive oil over it. Serve with cheese of your liking. Parmesan, crumbled goat or blue cheese, also feta would all be wonderful.