Apparently I’m allllll about the pasta this week!
On Monday, I shared a much healthier version and today, we’re going ALL out for the holiday season. We’re doing it. Bucatini with bacon meatballs! I can’t even contain my LOVE for there. Oh my gosh.
Which you guys! Is huge. You know that 1. I don’t love pasta with red sauce and 2. I don’t love meatballs. Um, here? I love pasta with red sauce AND meatballs. It’s out of control.
Every holiday season, I get weird cravings for “regular” but hearty and indulgent meals like pastas and pizzas. It’s provides a break from the traditional holiday eats but it’s still something fancy enough or impressive enough to serve friends or family that might be in town. Or to even make for a holiday meal when you want something… different. You know?
Now here’s the thing.
Eddie was really freaked out about these meatballs. When we were planning our meals for the week, I told him I was going to make bacon meatballs and he cringed. He was afraid they would be heavy and greasy and just didn’t understand how they would work. In fact, I think he thought that it would just be a ball of bacon. No other meat included. Eeeep.
So you can’t even imagine how excited I was when he fell in love with these. The bacon is just an add-in to my favorite meatball recipe that I make him often. But it adds a wonderful smoky flavor and a little extra something something. Fantastic!
AND. The best part about these is that you can do whatever the heck you want with them.
Over pasta – your favorite variety? DO IT.
Making them into meatball subs? Yes yes!
Throw them on a salad? Uh huh. (hint hint… there might be something fabulous coming in The Pretty Dish that involves a meatball and a salad.. just sayin’.)
This bowl is everything I want in life right now.
Bacon Meatballs with Bucatini
- 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
- 4 slices uncooked bacon, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup finely grated romano cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 24 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce
- 1 pound bucatini, cooked according to directions
- fresh herbs for garnish
- shaved parmesan cheese for topping
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, bacon, egg, cheese, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Mix until just combined – do not overmix! Form into 1-inch meatballs.
Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the meatballs in batches until golden brown on all sides, removing some to cook the others and adding more oil when needed. When all the meatballs are browned, reduce the heat to low, add in your marinara and add all the meatballs back into the skillet. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
While the meatballs are simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the bucatini according to the directions. Serve with meatballs and sauce – and parmesan cheese and fresh herbs!
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That’s a huge saucy hug right there.