Spaghetti became my go-to meal when I started living on my own. It was easy to make, and it was easy to manipulate. Ground beef or ground turkey? Pork Italian sausage or chicken Italian sausage? Meatless with tofu and vegetables? Speaking of vegetables, spaghetti’s a great way for me to take in some vegetables. I love adding zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers. Sometimes, for kicks, I also add shredded carrots.
OK, you get the point. Now you know why I was so excited for this week’s remake.
I decided to do a twist on the meatballs by stuffing them with cheese. Then, since I try to limit my dairy intake (aside from last week’s Brie), I decided to make my tofu ricotta again and stuff the meatballs with the “ricotta” and some non-dairy mozzarella shreds. I chose some lean ground turkey as a healthier option than beef, and of course, I added my usual assortment of veggies to the sauce. The whole thing was served over whole grain spaghetti noodles.
Truthfully, the whole thing was a disappointment. In half my meatballs you couldn’t tell it was stuffed with anything at all, and then I think they simmered in the sauce too long and ruined my marinara. So instead of giving you the recipe for what I made, I’m just going to tell you how I make my usual marinara.
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes, optional
ground black pepper
Italian seasoning or dried basil and dried oregano
crushed red pepper flakes, optional
fennel seed, optional
diced sweet yellow onions or onion powder
Optional Vegetable Add-ins
- In a medium saucepot, add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Season to taste with garlic and other spices. Stir in the spices and let sauce simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice and dice vegetables if you’re using them. Saute in olive oil and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. When tender, add to the marinara sauce.
- Now, you can continue letting your sauce simmer or dive in. (I usually dive in.)