This is a really simple summer meal to make after a long day of running around; that’s when I made this. I was in the city all day and didn’t feel like slaving over the stove for very long. I rummaged around in my kitchen and pulled out some random items that I had been wanting to use up. I’ve always been a fan of pork based meatballs over beef, but I wanted to add something unusual to them to make them a little special. I had pepper jack cheese in the fridge and some leftover chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, so I figured I would add those to the typical Italian ingredients in meatballs, like breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. I was really pleased with the results; the meatballs were just a bit rich from the pork sausage, slightly smokey from the chipotle chili that I added to them, and both spicy and cheesy from the pepper jack cheese. For the pasta, I didn’t want to make a marinara sauce, so I decided to poach some minced garlic in olive oil over low heat for the entire time I was baking the meatballs and cooking the pasta. After I tossed the garlic infused olive oil over the pasta with some Parmesan cheese and some herbs, the pasta was absolutely perfect. You can use as little or as much garlic as you want, but I love garlic, so I used about four cloves. I can honestly say that this pasta is even better the next day after it has time to sit in the garlic olive oil overnight. I’m pretty proud of this unique pasta dish, and I hope you will be as well after you make it for yourself, your friends, or your family!
Your ingredients (minus the meat, for some reason).
Combine your meatball ingredients and mix together with your hands.
Roll into balls and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through.
Mince some garlic very fine (I used 4 cloves, but 1 or 2 will be sufficient if you’re not a huge lover of garlic) and add it to about a cup of olive oil in a small sauce pot. Over medium-low heat, simmer the garlic in the pot for 15 minutes or so, stirring every 5 minutes, until the garlic is lightly golden. Turn the heat up to medium if the garlic isn’t turning color quickly enough, but don’t let it burn.
Cook your pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain, and toss with the garlic and olive oil. Add a bit more olive oil as you see fit.
Toss the pasta with a sprinkle of parsley, red pepper flakes (if desired), and Parmesan cheese. Serve with the meatballs and enjoy!
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ pound ground pork sausage
- 1 egg
- 1 or 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced (include the sauce that sticks to the chilies)
- ½ cup grated pepper jack cheese
- ¼ cup plain or seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup good olive oil, plus more as needed to coat the pasta
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how much you like garlic)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ground black pepper, for garnish
- red pepper flakes, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl with clean hands. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Roll the into balls 2 to 3 inches in diameter and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and bubbling slightly.
- Place the cup of olive oil in a small sauce pan and add in the minced garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes until lightly golden, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Add the garlic and olive oil, then add a bit more olive oil if needed. Toss with the Parmesan cheese.
- Serve the pasta with the meatballs and garnish with some freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with a few red pepper flakes, if needed. Serves 4-5.