It’s hard to beat meatballs as a crowd-pleaser. I love them because they’re so versatile. You can bake them or brown them, use nearly any kind of ground meat, and tuck in all sorts of herbs, spices, and even veggies. They’re good on their own, in a soup, or in a sauce. You can make them in a half-hour or let them simmer for an afternoon. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with a meatball. And recently I’ve discovered three tricks to make my Italian-style meatballs even better.
Spinach pesto is a staple in my house (as well as one of my client’s – I make it for them nearly every week). It’s beautiful, delicious, and healthy, plus relatively quick to prepare. You could make it even more quickly than I do, but I think the two potentially “fussy” touches render the final product much tastier. Remember that tastier = more kid (and grown-up) friendly.
Pesto is delicious on pasta, obviously. I also like it spooned over roasted chicken, on steamed or roasted potatoes, and dolloped on hard-boiled eggs. Nearly any food that needs a little zing will take well to this tangy sauce.
When I first started cooking seriously six or so years ago I was a purist. Cooking shortcuts were almost universally unacceptable. Clients would ask me if it was okay to buy pre-peeled garlic, and I would wince to myself. I made all my own spice rubs. And, darn it, I cut my own chicken cutlets thank you very much.