I hope the word kale being in the post title hasn’t already scared you away. I don’t care much for it myself, especially on it’s own. However, there are a few exceptions and this meatball dish just so happens to be one of them. Luckily, I didn’t skip this meal in our weekly recipes selection and gave it the benefit of the doubt. I guess there are times when kale CAN be delicious.
We get HelloFresh twice a week when we are home. I’ve learned how to cook some healthy, delicious dishes with food combinations that I would have never imagined went well together. And a lot of those containing ingredients that I have stuck my nose up at my entire life. I’ve found that I actually REALLY do like roasted zucchini and green beans. Dejavu back to being a kid and trying stuff for the first time, only you’re a little more mature and less likely to throw a tantrum when it’s presented on a plate in front of you.
So if the word “kale” still has you feeling unsure, I’ll be completely honest with you: You can’t even taste the kale, so come back, read on and try this recipe for yourself.
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ cups kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1lb ground beef
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 12oz rigatoni pasta
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 8 teaspoons dried oregano
- 8 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 4 teaspoons dried basil
- 4 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- Using a small bowl, combine all meatball seasoning ingredients and momentarily set aside after whisking well.
- Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, kale, a pinch of salt and pepper and meatball seasoning mixture to a medium size bowl. Combine ingredients well using clean hands. Shape into 1½-inch balls and place on a plate. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, stirring occasionally until fully al dente at around 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
- While pasta is cooking, heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large deep skillet over med-high heat. Add onion, cooking until fragrant and transparent; about 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, cook for an additional 2 minutes and then crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until sauce appears to have thickened, around 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully add meatballs to sauce mixture. Increase the heat to medium and cover; cooking about 5 minutes on each side or until meatballs are fully cooked through.
- Divide rigatoni pasta between 4 plates, adding marinara and meatballs on top. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves for extra taste.
- If sauce appears thick, add the ½ cup of pasta water.