Friday, November 2, 2012

Lunch Week 27: Pasta with Meatballs in Boursin Tomato Sauce

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Pasta with Boursin Tomato Sauce

I'm in the process of cleaning out my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. And what a process it is. You never know how much you really store away until you start going through it. To some I may be a pack rat but I just like to be ready and supplied.

Anyway, I started making this dish while vacationing in Germany last year. Hurricane Irene extended my stay there for a few days. So I took the time to explore the market there and made myself some food. I liked my results so much that I tried perfecting it in NYC. Now it has become a go to pasta dish for me. It's funny how things come about. So I finally developed a recipe for this dish and hopefully you would like to try to make it too. You may find step by step pictures from a previous post here.

Pasta with Meatballs in Boursin Tomato Sauce
Makes 10 servings

2 lbs bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 lbs spicy Italian sausage
3 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 lbs baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 qts marinara sauce
1 lb frozen peas
1-5.70z Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin Cheese
1 lb pasta, I prefer campanelle or mini rigatoni

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Place sided pan on stove on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil. Render fat from bacon until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Also drain oil out of pan.
3. Remove casings from sausage and form meat into small 1/2 inch meatballs. Sear meatballs on medium high heat in pan until browned all over. Lower heat and continue to cook until fully cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.
4. Remove meatballs from pan and drain oil. This time, keep oil in pan.
5. Add salt to boiling water. Then add pasta and cook according to the directions. Make sure it's a bit under al dente as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
6. Heat 1 qt sauce.
7. While pan is still hot, add onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until that's soft too. Add other 1 qt sauce to pan and stir to coat. Add meatballs back to sauce. Cook 5 minutes. Add frozen peas and Boursin cheese to sauce. Stir and cook until sauce is homogeneous, about 10 minutes.
8. Drain pasta, add back to pot on medium heat. Add heated sauce and meatball sauce. Stir gently until mixed, about 5 minutes. Plate, top with crispy bacon, serve.

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