SQUID INK PASTA WITH MEATBALL ARRABIATA

Punch up the sauce and the pasta! The spicy notes of an Arrabiata sauce pair nicely with the earthiness of the squid ink pasta, but any old pasta or sauce will substitute as well. Toasted, buttered breadcrumbs or browned Italian sausage on top might just blow your mind!

Ingredients

  • ½ bag of Casa Meatballs, prepared per package instructions
  • 1 lb squid ink spaghetti or fettucini pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp to 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes (make it as spicy as you like!)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 19 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan (optional, for topping)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (optional, for topping)
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (optional, for topping)
  • ½ lb bulk spicy Italian sausage (optional)

Directions

  1. Prepare meatballs according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions.
  3. Chop your onions and garlic.
  4. In a Dutch oven or a large pot, brown the sausage (if using.) Remove from pan and drain over paper towels. 5. in the same pan with the sausage drippings, add olive oil (if needed). Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft and starts to brown a bit. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes or so, careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Stir in the dried oregano and red chili flakes (start small, you can always add more).
  6. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the alcohol burns off a bit.
  7. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let this simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. This is a great time to taste the sauce, and see if it’s spicy enough for you. If not, add some more pepper flakes, allowing a few minutes to cook in before tasting again.
  9. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  10. Pour the sauce and meatballs over the squid ink spaghetti.
  11. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and basil and serve.
  12. For another delicious topping, melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, and toast breadcrumbs for about 3-5 minutes. Top each serving with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.