Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Afterschool Leftover Snack ~ Simple Meatballs with a Pancetta Red Sauce

What does your child eat for an after school snack?

Cheese & crackers?
Remnants from the lunchbox?

Mine can and does eat a meal...it's not a snack...and you would think he didn't have a hearty lunch...which he did...and no fruit or yogurt or other light snacks will do. This seven year old boy is hungry with a capital H.

So what is a busy Mum to do when faced with this dilemma? Rely heavily on leftovers! This was a delicious meal that tasted like it took hours to slowly cook, but in reality it was about 45 minutes. The meatball recipe is super simple as we are gluten, dairy and egg free. If you prefer to add breadcrumbs, milk, eggs to your meatballs please feel free to - but you might want to give mine a shot!

Simple Meatballs with a Pancetta Red Sauce

Simple Meatballs
1 1/2 lbs grass fed ground beef
1/4 onion, diced small
1 TBSP Wildtree Hearty Spaghetti Blend
2 TBSP Tamari
1 TBSP Wildtree Tuscany Bread Dipper Herb Blend
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and roll into small meatballs (they cook faster) and set aside.

Pancetta Red Sauce
1 slice (1/2" thick) pancetta, cut into small cubes
1/2 onion, diced medium
two 28 oz cans of plain crushed tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
2 TBSP Wildtree Hearty Spaghetti Blend
1/2 TBSP Wildtree Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add the Basil Pesto GSO and pancetta. Stir while cooking until the pancetta renders its fat. Remove cooked pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Meanwhile, cook the meatballs being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Most likely you will need to cook them in several batches. You do not have to cook them in their entirety, just make sure they are browned on all sides. Next, add the onions to the pan and soften slightly (you might need to add a dash of Basil Pesto GSO to the pan). Place all the meatballs back in the pan and add the tomatoes, garlic, Hearty Spaghetti Blend and pancetta. Turn heat down to low and simmer away, uncovered so the sauce will slightly thicken and the flavors will meld together.

Serve over rigatoni with freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano.


  1. This sounds yummy. I am curious what is in the Wildtree Hearty Spaghetti Blend if I wanted to make this but didn't have that.
    I made meatballs last week and laid them out on a large broiler pan and cooked them in the oven for 20 minutes. They came out great and I had enough for 2 meals all ready to go.

  2. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!