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Pasta with Stuffed Meatballs

Total Time: 45 minutes plus chilling • Serves: 4

4 (3/4-inch) cubes mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons Schnucks olive oil, divided
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed with press
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1/2 cup Schnucks plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Schnucks grated Parmesan cheese
1 Schnucks large egg
2 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano and/or parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Schnucks nonstick cooking spray
1/2 (16-ounce) package Schnucks fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti
2 cups chunky tomato pasta sauce
shaved Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Place mozzarella cheese in freezer. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned; cool.

In large bowl, gently mix beef, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, water, herbs, salt, pepper and onion mixture; form mixture into 4 equal-size meatballs. Press 1 mozzarella cube into each meatball, forming meatball around cheese to enclose; cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F; spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; gradually add meatballs to skillet. Cook 4 minutes or until all sides are browned; transfer to prepared pan. Bake meatballs 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Meanwhile, bring large saucepot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs; drain. In small saucepan, heat sauce as label directs. Serve pasta topped with meatballs and sauce; garnish with cheese and basil, if desired.

Each serving: about 587 calories, 28 g total fat (10 g saturated), 123 mg cholesterol, 1468 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 15 g sugars, 29 g protein

Cook’s Wisdom
For an easy homemade pasta sauce, cook 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and 3 crushed garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper; simmer 20 minutes, then stir in 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil.