Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fusilli with Meatballs and Creamy Garden Pasta Sauce

I took inspiration for this dish from the show, Giada in Italy, particularly the episode Raffy and Raffy.  In this show Giada with the help of her aunt Raffy prepared a special dish which Giada's grandfather's only living sister, Rafaella also nicknamed Raffy, loves to prepare, Ziti Stufati.  It is a dense layered pasta dish featuring ziti with meatballs and ricotta tomato sauce.

This is a healthier version of this dish.  The sauce is made more nutritious by incorporating carrots and celery with the tomato base.  This is one way to incorporate more vegetables into your pasta sauce.  I used cream cheese instead of the ricotta called for in Giada's recipe but one can use that definitely.  I used Parmesan cheese but one can use mozarrella and/or cheddar cheese instead of it.

This is a rich creamy dish one can easily prepare any night or for a weekend meal.  I did use my Vita Mix blender to prepare the sauce and I did not saute any vegetables like they did in Giada's recipe to save time. If you do have time and do not mind the added oil you can do so.

Fusilli with Meatballs and Creamy Garden Pasta Sauce

  • 16 oz fusilli cooked or other type of pasta
  • 20 meatballs (homemade or frozen store bought)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese or cheese of choice
  • 1 recipe Creamy Garden Pasta Sauce
Creamy Garden Pasta Sauce
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2-14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 oz low fat cream cheese or ricotta
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Place the first four ingredients in the Vita Mix blender according to the sequence given then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend till smooth.


Place the fusilli or other pasta in a 13 x 9 glass pan.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix.  Spread the meatballs over the pasta and sauce mixture.  Add the Parmesan cheese or cheese of choice on top.

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