Mac & Cheese with Spicy Pork Meatballs

Although associated with Italian cuisine, the true history of the meatball is unknown, but, kofta seems to be the earliest known meatball. Kofta originated with the ancient Persians. It is a dish of ground meats mixed with rice, bulgar or lentils. Those little chunks of meat found their way into Europe through trade routes from the middle Easter countries. Today they are shaped into gargantuan balls and served with a myriad of bases and sauces.

So Happy Meatball day!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese, macaroni, meatball, noodle, pasta, pork
Servings: 4 people
Author: HelenFern
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, (depending on how much you like heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
Mac & Cheese
  • 3 cups cooked penne pasta
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Blue Cheese Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Instructions
Meatballs
  1. Start with the meatballs. Mix all the ingredients (except the olive oil) until everything is well incorporated.

  2. Form into 12 large balls. Heat the oil in a deep skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides.

  3. Remove from the skillet to an oven proof pan and place in a preheated, 350 degree oven.

Mac & Cheese
  1. Next the mac and cheese. Create a roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour. 

  2. Cook until it is very lightly brown. Using a whisk, stir in the half and half, milk, salt and pepper. When mixture is slightly thickened.

  3.  Add the pasta and cheese. Mix well. 

  4. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for about 20 -25 minutes, or until browned on top. (Should have pasta and meatballs in the oven now….)
Blue Cheese Sauce
  1. While the meatballs and pasta are baking, make the sauce. Drain the olive oil from the skillet, but try to keep all the little meatball bits. 

  2. Melt the butter and loosen the browned bits from the pan. Again, create a roux with the butter and flour. Let it brown a little so it has a nutty taste. 

  3.  Using a whisk, stir in the half and half. When it starts to thicken just a little, stir in the cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick.

To Serve:
  1. Place a cup full of pasta in a bowl. Top with three meatballs and some sauce. Pure deliciousness!