Guys, I’m back!
I had such a great trip to California filled with food (lots and lots of food), wine, vineyards and beautiful weather. We ended up bringing back the most amazing wine in all of life, and I really really want to drink it, but I also want to save it for all of eternity. Who knows when I’ll go back to Napa, so maybe I’ll just sip an ounce of it a day and when it’s gone, that’ll be my cue to book another flight. We’ll see. Also, I had the best salmon dish (with fennel and a delicious tomato sauce) of my life, so I’d consider it an incredibly successful trip.
We spent a few days in San Francisco, and I had one of the best burgers of my life at Sam’s Pizza & Burgers (Anthony Bourdain said the same thing) and some super amazing Caribbean food with sangria. I’m bound and determined to recreate those dishes for you all, right here on the blog. Stay tuned for arroz con pollo, crispy potatoes with spicy aioli and cajun shrimp in coconut sauce. And maybe some sangria. Maybe…
Okay, definitely sangria.
There was also some great pizza happening, and French creole food and a fluffy sourdough waffle during this trip. I could really use some vegetables and a treadmill right now.
Instead, it’s time for a randomly awesome and simple dish of Italian meatballs, fresh mozzarella and spinach in skillet form. It has nothing to do with my trip to CA, but it makes for a great weeknight meal because the entire thing is ready in no time, and the meatballs can be made ahead of time, if you wish. Plus, it’s a complete meal, and one of the only ways Ben will eat spinach. You know what I’m sayin’.
Also, take note of the fresh, ooey gooey mozzarella melted on top and loads of fresh basil. Gahhh it’s so good it certainly won’t seem like a ‘weeknight meal’. You’ll feel like you’re eating in an Italian restaurant eating authentic Italian food. Yummmm.
Speaking of vegetables, I’m going to binge on the spinach in this dish and find that treadmill.
It’s all about balance.
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 lb. lean ground pork
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ Tbsp. dried oregano leaves
- ¾ tsp. coarse salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 3 cups marinara
- 4 oz. ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fit a baking sheet with a wire rack and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix beef, pork, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, mustard and spices until well combined. Form equal-sized meatballs, about 2 inches each in diameter, and place on the wire rack. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until browned.
- In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and season with salt and pepper. Place cooked meatballs in the skillet and cover with marinara, then top with slices of mozzarella. Place skillet in the oven and cook 6-8 minutes, until marinara is hot and cheese is melted. Turn oven to a low broil and broil 2-3 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and browned.
- Serve with fresh basil.