Meatballs & Tomato Sauce with Creamy Rice & Broccoli
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Meatballs & Tomato Sauce

with Creamy Rice & Broccoli

Group Created with Sketch. 40 min
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500 Calories Or Less
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    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 800 Cals/serving
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Saucy meatballs are a go-to comfort food, and tonight we’re giving them a delicious twist. Golden raisins, mixed into the beef along with garlic and parsley, add pops of sweetness, while Castelvetrano olives (a green Sicilian variety) liven up the tomato sauce with their pleasantly salty, buttery flavor. To accompany the meatballs, we’re serving creamy brown rice and quick-braised broccoli—lightly browned, then simmered in liquid until tender.

Saucy meatballs are a go-to comfort food, and tonight we’re giving them a delicious twist. Golden raisins, mixed into the beef along with garlic and parsley, add pops of sweetness, while Castelvetrano olives (a green Sicilian variety) liven up the tomato sauce with their pleasantly salty, buttery flavor. To accompany the meatballs, we’re serving creamy brown rice and quick-braised broccoli—lightly browned, then simmered in liquid until tender.

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the bottom ½ inch of the broccoli stem. Cut the broccoli into small pieces. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop.

Cook the rice:
2 Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 21 to 23 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat; fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the broccoli:
3 Cook the broccoli:

While the rice cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the broccoli; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add ¼ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until softened and the water has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Form the meatballs:
4 Form the meatballs:

While the broccoli cooks, in a large bowl, combine the ground beef, raisins, breadcrumbs, egg, half the parsley, and half the garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 to 12 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Cook the meatballs & make the sauce:
5 Cook the meatballs & make the sauce:

While the rice continues to cook, in the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Add the olives, remaining garlic paste, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and ¼ cup of water (be careful, as the liquid may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. (If the sauce seems dry, add up to 2 tablespoons of warm water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish the rice & plate your dish:
6 Finish the rice & plate your dish:

Add the cooked broccoli and fromage blanc to the pot of cooked rice. (If the rice seems dry, stir in 1 tablespoon of water.) Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished rice and cooked meatballs and sauce between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

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1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the bottom ½ inch of the broccoli stem. Cut the broccoli into small pieces. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop.

2 Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 21 to 23 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat; fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the rice:
Cook the broccoli:
3 Cook the broccoli:

While the rice cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the broccoli; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add ¼ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until softened and the water has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

4 Form the meatballs:

While the broccoli cooks, in a large bowl, combine the ground beef, raisins, breadcrumbs, egg, half the parsley, and half the garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 to 12 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Form the meatballs:
Cook the meatballs & make the sauce:
5 Cook the meatballs & make the sauce:

While the rice continues to cook, in the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Add the olives, remaining garlic paste, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and ¼ cup of water (be careful, as the liquid may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. (If the sauce seems dry, add up to 2 tablespoons of warm water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Finish the rice & plate your dish:

Add the cooked broccoli and fromage blanc to the pot of cooked rice. (If the rice seems dry, stir in 1 tablespoon of water.) Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished rice and cooked meatballs and sauce between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Finish the rice & plate your dish: