Appetizers,  Dinner,  Lunch,  Recipe

Italian Love Nests

I’m not sure which genius invented these but they are absolutely perfect for serving to your loved ones! The best part is you can tailor them to your tastes!

There are many steps to this one if you want to make these from scratch. For the sake of ease, I’ll post the main recipe first.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz spaghetti or angel hair
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup grated Italian cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of marinara sauce
  • 12 meatballs
  • 8 leaves of basil, sliced
  • grated parmesan for garnish

Heat oven to 350. Cook spaghetti to al denté. Rinse and add egg, cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir together. Fill half of each muffin tin with pasta mixture. Twirl pasta with a fork to make little “nests”. 

Top with a heavy spoonful of sauce and a meatball. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Top with grated parmesan and fresh basil slices. Enjoy!

Nerdy Tip

you can make these to taste! Like bolognese sauce instead? or pesto? these would be great little carbonara nests too. I may have to try allllllll of these options!

Marinara Sauce

  • 28oz whole peeled tomatoes
  • 14oz tomato sauce
  • 6oz tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste!)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of cayenne
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Crush the whole tomatoes. (I used my hands with gloves). In a large skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add rest of ingredients and simmer at least 15 minutes. The longer you simmer, the better. I had amazing sauce after simmering for two hours while I made the pasta and meatballs. 

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground veal
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated romano cheese
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup olive oil for frying

Mix all ingredients except the olive oil. Roll into Tablespoon sized balls. Fry in hot oil over medium heat until cooked through (rolling to cook all sides as you go). 

Homemade Pasta

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp water 
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Mix all ingredients and knead for 3-4 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll out and cut to desired size (or use a pasta maker). I love my KitchenAid pasta attachments. 

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