Acini Di Pepe with Beef Meatballs

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

It was an overcast, breezy, summer day and though it IS summer - I was craving comfort food as we near autumn. This was quite possibly the best summer of my life for varied reasons, and while I hate to see summer leave, sure love watching her go. You'll notice a wok in my photographs; I bought it recently at Aldi and do not know how I ever cooked well without one. Daily, it is on my stove and today was no exception, with a lid borrowed from another pot to trap moisture as I simmered a favorite brand of frozen meatballs. Yes, frozen - they're from Hyvee, {if you have that store near you} are in a blue bag and are our favorite. They're as good as my homemade ones so, I save time at the stove and buy these. Why not?



Of course I'd run out of dumpling-style noodles so, improvised with Acini Di Pepe pasta {you've seen it around in Italian Wedding Soup} and it was actually a fantastic substitute. There's a few photos from when I had this cooking, just below. Something I always do with store-bought gravy packets ... in the last few minutes the pasta {if I'm making any} is simmering, I add a ladel-full of pasta water to the thickened gravy and meatballs. Then I remove the lid and let it simmer as the pasta finishes and is drained, returned to the pot and a tablespoon of butter added to the pasta. By then, the gravy has thickened again and acquired a homemade taste it lacked without the pasta water. Anyway, the recipe is below the slideshow. Aside, my other table is all ready for the usual over-winter plants I bring in each autumn, and sitting empty. So I sat here instead for dinner quickly, wishing autumn would hurry a bit.


Even later, I'm in my office typing out this recipe feeling quite full. See, I added a fifth meatball to my portion after taking those photos. You know, I do it all so quickly with my phone, the photographs, because I seriously hate cold food that's meant to be smoldering. My children joke and say I like drinks and food screaming hot, hot like the center of the sun.


Well...🔥

Ingredients:


1 Bag Frozen Meatballs {I used 12 of the 24 meatballs today}

1 /2 Box of Acini Di Pepe Pasta, prepared by package directions with salted water

I Packet Brown Gravy Mix, prepared by package directions

A few tablespoons of water

1 Tablespoon of Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste


Directions:


Set pasta water to boil according to package directions, salt the water. While that's going, start the next part.


This recipe was made in a wok, with a borrowed lid from another pot. You could just as well use a saute pan with a lid. I warmed the meatballs on medium heat, then added a few tablespoons of water, put the lid on and let them simmer this way, stirring occasionally till the pasta water boiled. After adding the pasta to its water I did the rest.


In a 2 cup Pyrex, I added the gravy packet contents to 1 cup of water and stirred it till smooth then, added it to the meatballs and replaced the lid after stirring. Once the gravy boiled, I turned the heat down a bit and let it simmer slowly as the pasta cooked, stirring both the wok and pasta pot contents occasionally.


When 3 minutes were left on the pasta timer, I took one ladle-full of pasta water and added it to the meatballs and gravy, stirred and left the wok lid off so it could simmer and thicken again. I also turned the wok heat back up a bit to get it simmering again. Then I finished the pasta and served it with meatballs and gravy.


#acinidipepe #meatballs #cooking #comfortfood #knosh

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