Do you ever go out to eat and think to yourself ‘I could totally make this myself’? Obviously not in the same way as an actual chef or anything, but sometimes I get this urge to recreate meals I’ve eaten at restaurants. Example A: Spinach Almond Pesto Meatballs…
The good thing was that I knew how to make pesto, and judging by the name I figured all I had to do was add spinach and almonds to my normal pesto (what can I say…. I’m a genius). I was a leeeeettle hesitant to put them in the crock pot because I didn’t want them to burn. I know the whole point of a crock pot is to throw food in, let it cook and then come back hours later and voila, it’s done! But this was my first time trying meatballs in a crockpot, so naturally I had to check on them every hour like they were my child or something.
So I suppose you’re wondering where this restaurant is that sparked my interest. Maybe? It’s called Emporio and it’s a fairy new downtown Pittsburgh restaurant. I’ve been there twice and failed to take photos both times, but mark my words the next time I go (I actually already know when I’m going next….embarrassing) I’m going to take photos and do a write up on it so you can get the whole vibe. Basically, it’s a meatball joint. A really, really delicious meatball joint. Joint….restaurant…. the amount of time I spent deciding on what to call it is pathetic. A meatball joint/restaurant.
Ok but this pesto. The meatballs are delish of course, but what would meatballs be without the marinade? NAKED. BORING. ONLY KIND OF DELICIOUS. And I didn’t want kind of delicious. I wanted really delicious, which thankfully, they turned out to be.
On that same topic of pesto, it kind of looks disgusting at first glance, doesn’t it? If you didn’t know what pesto was and you just saw it, you may never want to try it. But I’m pretty sure once you DO try pesto, you become immediately addicted. Especially if it’s spinach almond pesto because almonds make everything better. But you already knew that
Oh, oh, oh! And before I forget–this recipe made me exactly 14 meatballs, in case you were wondering. That is all. Enjoy!
- For the meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ onion
- 1 egg
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- For the pesto:
- 2 cup spinach
- ¼ cup almonds
- 1 tsp parsley (fresh or dried)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- Finely chop the onion and place in a large bowl.
- Add the ground beef, egg and bread crumbs to that bowl and, using a spoon or your hands (hands seemed to work better for me), mix everything together.
- Using your hands, form the beef mixture into meatballs and then place into the crock pot.
- Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add spinach, parsley, olive oil and water and pulse until everything is mixed. If you do not own a food processor, a blender will work as well.
- Drizzle half of the pesto overtop of the meatballs and then turn the crock pot on low and cook for approximately 4 hours.
- Use the leftover pesto to dip your meatballs in or to drizzle on top.
Q: How often do you use your crock pot? <<I honestly never remember to use it, but I’m so thankful when I do!