Things you don't hear every day: cauliflower nocchi and meatballs.
You hear spaghetti and meatballs all the time, but cauliflower nocchi and meatballs? Pretty new and we should start a trend.
Italians, do not shoot messenger (as you did with grandma's pasta sauce), but I think cauliflower nocchi and meatballs are a good low carbohydrate alternative and quite delicious!
It's also really easy to whip up a weekday and here at table for two, you all know how I feel about fast weekday meals.
In addition, I know you have asked for other ways to use cauliflower nocchi from Trader Joe's (sorry if you don't have one near you), so here's another option!
If cauliflower nocchi and meatballs do not tickle your taste, I have another cauliflower nocchi recipe, chicken parmesan nocchi bake, which you may like instead.
How To Get Your Meatballs Moist, tender and not hard like a brick!
Okay, I recently read something online that I thought I would try with these meatballs to see if it would work and holy crap.
This was ever the most tender and soft meatballs.
Like literally deep side of my fork into it and it just fell apart.
Here's how you do it: softened crumbs soften for 10-15 minutes before incorporating them into your meat mix!
I know it sounds so totally gross and it's a rough boulder, but it really helps and attributes the tender meatballs.
It really helps it retain its moisture.
Another important thing is also that I barely handled the meat.
So I'm sure you're asking, "how did you form them into meatballs without barely handling the meat?"
I used a large cookie scoop and gently pushed the meat (without packing it forcibly into the scoop) and placed it on wax paper. Repeatedly until all the balls were formed, I took the meatballs and gently threw the meatball back and forth in my hands approx. 3-4 times to loosely shape the meatball.
Using 80/20 ground beef also helps because there is more fat.
What if I can't find cauliflower nocchi?
I feel like there will be alternatives to Trader Joe's cauliflower nocchi in the end, but if you can't find cauliflower nocchi, then regular potato gnocchi are fine.
Can I use any type of marinara sauce?
Highly recommend Rao's marinara sauce. It's expensive, but it's expensive for a reason.
It's so good and it's the only marinara sauce I use.
Can I use whole canned tomatoes?
You could, but you had to season vigorously and make your own marinara sauce essentially.
It's just a lot easier with jarred marinara.
Can I use another ground meat?
80/20 ground beef is the best, but you can try with ground turkey or ground pork.
Is there a way to make this spicy?
Yes! I added crushed red pepper flakes to my meatball mix and also the sauce.
Do I need brown meatballs first?
Always brown / heavy meat first! So.much.flavor !!
What can I serve this with?
Roasted vegetables or a salad!
Recipes with a skillet you might like:
- Creamy separated mushroom chicken
- Fig and rosemary glazed chicken
- Divorced English breakfast
- Ultimate skillet lasagna
Shoutout to good housekeeping for viewing this blog post!
Cauliflower Gnocchi and meatballs
A delicious carbohydrate setting to have spaghetti and meatballs, but with cauliflower gnocchi and meatballs instead! Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour Course: Dinner Food: Italian Calories: 337kcal
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 medium onion, extremely finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian spice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Knife black pepper
For the rest of the dish:
- 2 cups of Rao's marinara sauce or similar
- 1:12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower gnocchi
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- Prepare a large baking sheet covered with wax paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together milk and eggs in a large bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs in and stir until the breadcrumbs are wet. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Add meatballs and the rest of the ingredients to meatballs after 15 minutes. With your hands, gently incorporate malt beef mixture until just combined. Die does not overwork.
- Use a large cookie scoop to loosely spoon the meatball mixture into individual balls and place it on prepared baking sheet. Continue until all meat mixture is out of sight, then gently shape meatballs into uniform ball shapes. To prevent it from touching, rather than roughly molding with your hands, gently toss the ball back and forth between your hands until it is relatively formed, and then place it back on the baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the frying paper is hot, add olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and add the meatballs to brown on two sides.
- Reduce heat to medium, then add the marinara sauce. Simmer gently, then add the cauliflower gnocchi. Stir to coat and incorporate.
- The oven must be preheated at this time. Cover and place in oven to finish cooking, about 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and / or fresh parsley / basil on top before serving.
Nutrition facts Cauliflower Gnocchi and meatballs Serving (1 serving) calories 337 calories from fat 162 % Daily Value * Fat 18g28% carbohydrates 31g10% Fiber 3g12% Sugar 1 g1% protein 20g40% * Percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. * Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate.