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With this hectic week of getting back into a normal routine after the wedding, all I really wanted was relaxing time with the girls. Luckily, two of my best friends came over the other evening so that we could all make dinner together.

linguini with meatballs

This is one of my go-to, crowd pleasing recipes. I always make a different version, and this one is my favorite by far! I used grass-fed organic ground beef and my favorite spicy chicken parmesan sausage from Sprouts for the meatballs, with fresh organic kale, tomatoes, and whole grain pasta. You don’t have to follow suit with the organic and grass-fed, but I highly recommend it!

This recipe is easy enough for a week night dinner, and also impressive enough to share with friends. You can honestly throw meatballs together with whatever you have on hand, but I always use onion soup mix in my meatballs. It adds so much flavor, you’ll really miss it if you skip it.

Linguine with Meatballs & Kale

Makes about 20 meatballs, serves 4

Ingredients

1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 Vidalia sweet onion, finely chopped
1.25* lb ground beef
.4* lb sausage
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp Onion Soup Mix
1/2 tsp italian seasoning (salt-free)
3 cups of raw organic kale, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 box of linguine, preferably Whole Grain/Whole Wheat

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 400 F. Mix shallot, garlic, onion, beef, sausage, egg, onion soup mix, and italian seasoning together. Heat a large and deep oven-proof skillet over medium heat and add about a tbsp of olive oil. Roll the meatballs and add one at a time until the pan is full. Gently sear the meatballs on all sites and then cover and place in the oven. Cook for about a half hour, until a thermometer inserted through a few meatballs reaches an internal temperature of 165 F or higher.

Meanwhile, cook a box of your favorite linguine per the package instructions. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid after the pasta is done. Drain the rest of the liquid and set pasta aside.

When the meatballs are done, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Return the pan to the stove (carefully with an oven mit!!). To the pan, add kale, tomatoes and chili flakes. Saute until the kale is nearly done. Add the cooked pasta, reserved cooking liquid, and 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine, top with meatballs and fresh basil.

linguini with meatballs 2

Enjoy!

What is your favorite meal to make for friends?

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*You don’t have to use these exact weights for the meats- I just wanted you to know how much I used.

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