Meatballs & Calabrian Tomato Sauce with Green Beans & Orzo Pasta

Meatballs & Calabrian Tomato Sauce

with Green Beans & Orzo Pasta

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

We’re elevating classic Italian meatballs by loading ours with deliciously melty cheese curds, then cooking them in a lightly spiced tomato sauce for rich, bright flavor in every bite. It’s all served over a comforting bed of tender orzo pasta and verdant green beans (cooked in the same pot for easy cleanup).

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    770 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Meatballs & Calabrian Tomato Sauce with Green Beans & Orzo Pasta
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & make the tomato sauce:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the tomato sauce:

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Finely chop the cheese curds. Cut off and discard the stems of the sweet peppers; remove the cores. Halve the peppers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Combine in a bowl. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the green beans; cut into 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop the roasted peppers. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, chile paste, a big pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of water

Form the meatballs:
2 Form the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the beef, chopped cheese curds, breadcrumbs, and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 12 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Brown the meatballs & peppers:
3 Brown the meatballs & peppers:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned on all sides. Add the prepared sweet peppers and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the peppers are softened.

Cook & finish the pasta:
4 Cook & finish the pasta:

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 5 minutes. Add the green bean pieces and continue to cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the crème fraîche, raisins, and chopped roasted peppers; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover to keep warm. 

Finish the meatballs & serve your dish:
5 Finish the meatballs & serve your dish:

Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) to the pan of browned meatballs and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume and the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished meatballs and sauce over the finished pasta. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & make the tomato sauce:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the tomato sauce:

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Finely chop the cheese curds. Cut off and discard the stems of the sweet peppers; remove the cores. Halve the peppers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Combine in a bowl. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the green beans; cut into 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop the roasted peppers. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, chile paste, a big pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of water

2 Form the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the beef, chopped cheese curds, breadcrumbs, and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 12 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Form the meatballs:
Brown the meatballs & peppers:
3 Brown the meatballs & peppers:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned on all sides. Add the prepared sweet peppers and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the peppers are softened.

4 Cook & finish the pasta:

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 5 minutes. Add the green bean pieces and continue to cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the crème fraîche, raisins, and chopped roasted peppers; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover to keep warm. 

Cook & finish the pasta:
Finish the meatballs & serve your dish:
5 Finish the meatballs & serve your dish:

Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) to the pan of browned meatballs and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume and the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished meatballs and sauce over the finished pasta. Enjoy! 

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