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After spending two months in Italy during my European adventure, I came to realize that delicious Italian cuisine does not have to be complicated. Yes, I love to make homemade pasta and that can take some time, but there are so many delicious dishes that are quick and easy to prepare and still offer robust and hearty flavors. Since I have been home I have been trying to find new products that keep with this theme of easy Italian recipes and I discovered Carando® Abruzzese Italian-Style Meatballs that make Italian meals super easy to create. I incorporated them into a rigatoni dish using kale and cannellini beans and the outcome was nothing shy of delicious.
I found the Carando Abruzzese Style Meatballs in the fresh meat section of my local grocery store. I love that they are always fresh, which makes them taste more like what my grandmother used to make. Because they are fresh it means that this meal is easy to make on a weeknight for your family and you don’t have to wait for anything to thaw! The flavor of the meatballs is also rather high quality and uses classic Italian ingredients. They really remind me of the meatballs that I had during my time in Italy!
To create a wholesome meal I incorporated kale into the recipe. This is a great way to get your greens, grains and protein in one serving. I used cannellini beans to add a creamy texture and rosemary for a rustic flavor. Baking the meatballs is one of the easiest ways to cook them thoroughly while you prepare the rest of the meal. Once you make this dish you’ll find that incorporating Carando Abruzzese Style Meatballs into your meals is one of the easiest ways to have authentic Italian dishes at home and enjoy them with friends or family. Add this recipe to your meal plan this week and you’re entire family will be saying ‘Delizioso!’
- 1 package Carando® Fresh Abruzzese Meatballs
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 15.5-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed, patted dry
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- ¼ cup white cooking wine
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- Kosher salt
- 5 cups (lightly packed) torn kale
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place meatballs evenly spaced on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; gently turn meatballs over and bake an additional 13-17 minutes until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Fry rosemary, turning, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Add cannellini beans and garlic to pot and cook, tossing occasionally and mashing some beans with spoon, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer about half of beans a plate. Add wine to pot, bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add in chicken broth and butter and continue to simmer until the sauce cooks down.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pot with beans and add kale and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing often, until kale is wilted, pasta is al dente, and sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Gradually add ½ cup cheese, tossing until melted and dissolved into a glossy sauce. Thin with more pasta cooking liquid if needed. Season with pepper, and more salt if needed. Add in reserved beans,
- Divide pasta among bowls. Top each bowl with warm meatballs. Crumble rosemary over top and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese.