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Easy Meatballs, Vegetables & Pasta

No recipe image available.A quick and easy twist to liven up a traditional standby—and sneak a few veggies into your family's diet.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
3 cups (12 ounces) frozen Italian vegetable mixture
1 (26-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
2 tablespoons freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion, salt and pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly.
  3. In 8-inch square baking dish, press beef mixture into 1/2-inch thickness. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160°F (70°C). Carefully pour off drippings. Cut beef mixture into 16 squares.
  4. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Approximately 6 minute before pasta is done, stir in vegetables. Drain; keep warm.
  5. In large saucepan, combine "meatballs" (squares) and spaghetti sauce. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through; stir occasionally. Serve over pasta and vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Instead of making the meat squares, you can substitute with 1 pound frozen, fully cooked meatballs. Or, crumble and cook 1 pound of lean ground beef.

Recipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.