Saturday, March 10, 2012

Angel Hair Pasta Nests with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pesto sauce with Meatballs

Tonight I want to share with you one of my family's ULTRA FAVORITE DINNER'S!
I absolutely adore ANGEL HAIR PASTA, and totally am in LOVE with meatballs...  
Couple it with the creamy, fresh summer tasting sun-dried tomato pesto?
Now let's add in cheese?  Spells = HEAVEN!  *insert ringing bells*
This is one of my family's favorites and "guests" favorite dishes as well!  I'm  always being asked for the recipe. Better yet, I get asked for a container to go!   

Here we go:

You can either use your favorite meatball recipe, or you can use the one below.  Better yet; make the meatballs ahead of time and this can a very easy dinner to put together.

1lb ground beef
1 small onion chopped fine
1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
1tbsp granulated garlic
3/4 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp Fennel seed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 c bread crumbs (unseasoned)
1 egg

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Cheese Sauce:
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
6 tbsp flour
6 c milk
1 jar (6-7oz) sun-dried tomato pesto
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes drained well
1/2 c Parmesan/pecorino Romano cheese grated
Freshly ground pepper

1/4 c Parmesan/pecorino Romano cheese grated
1/2 c mozzarella cheese diced (or you can use grated packaged if preferred)

1 package of Angel hair pasta nests


This is what the pasta nests look like before cooking

1) Meatballs; mix all your ingredients for the meatballs.  Using a cookie scoop or your very clean hands, make into balls and place onto a non greased baking sheet.

Bake at 375F for 15-17 minutes.  Remove from oven, set aside to cool.

2) Add water to a 5-6qt saucepan, season with salt, and bring to a boil. While water is heating for pasta, start on the cream sauce.

3) Creamy Sauce: In a medium pan melt the butter.  Add the flour.  Stir in and let it cook for a minute or so.  Pour in the milk all at once and stir constantly till the sauce begins to thicken, about 5-7 minutes.  Turn off heat. Stir in the sun-dried tomato pesto.

Mix well, then add in the drained diced tomatoes, add 1/2 of the allotted cheese, stir to incorporate.

Finally add the remainder of the cheese and pepper.

Taste for seasonings (should be bread dunking good )  Set aside.

4) The water for the pasta should be boiling now. Add your nests, DO NOT STIR! LEAVE THEM BE for about 3 minutes or so. Angel hair pasta takes usually about 7-8 minutes to cook. You want them *just starting to soften* (about 3-4 minutes), because you will continue cooking these beauties in the oven! 
Once you have added your nests into the pasta, prepare your baking pan.

In a large baking pan, pre spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.
Remove the "nests" from the boiling water using a slotted spoon, (if you have a bit of water on the pasta while transferring over to baking pan, not to worry, this will actually enhance the cooking process by NOT allowing the sauce to get too thick and the pasta becoming dry).
Place in baking pan like this:

5) Add a meatball to each nest.

6) Pour the sun-dried tomato sauce over the meatballs and pasta.  Finally, add the mozzarella cheese.

How good does that look,  you can see the tomatoes and the sun-dried tomatoes and of course the MEATBALLS!

7) Place casserole dish on a baking sheet to ensure there are no spills.
Bake at 350F for approximately 20-30 minutes till mozzarella has melted nicely and the sides are bubbly.  Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes.

Serve by scooping out 2 nests per person. 

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Wow DiDi! A keeper for sure! Join us in FL for the JAP Party!!!!

    1. LOL, I wish I could... I wish I could make this for everyone!!!

  2. Didi---This looks FANTASTIC!! I'm pretty sure this will blow my calorie limit for the day but WOW would it be worth it!!

    1. Teresa you gorgeous "skinnie minnie"!!

      Endulge my friend!! xoxo

  3. I love angel hair nests. They just look so fancy, lol.

    1. I know right? LOL, whenever I make this for company, thier like "ooohhhh, ahhhhhh", then I show them the package, lol!!!! :-)

  4. Didi, love the creamy cheesy sauce...great one!! Keeper!! :)

    1. Thank you Melissa, I tend to like creamy sauces, can you tell? ;-)

  5. I made this for my co-workers and they LOVED it! I think I'm going to get to cut in line for the copier from now on! :) Thanks.

    1. Hi Josie!
      *Didi doing the happy dance* ;-)

      I'm so glad you and your coworkers enjoyed the dish, so easy right?
      Thank you so much for coming back and telling me!!! That means the world!!!

      So you say your coworkers should allow you to "cut in line for the copier"? Hmmmmpf, I believe after this dish, they should make the COPIES FOR YOU!! :-)

      Thank you again!

  6. Didi, I will be all OVER this soon - very soon!

  7. Welcome Adele!! We love, love the tomato pesto in this dish!! It just brings it over the top!!

  8. This dish was delicious! Wemade this tonight and added roasted peppers and we just love the sauce! I recomend trying with the roasted peppers, and let us know what you think!

    1. Yay Michael!!! *Didi doing the happy dance*!!!

      Okay, okay, so roasted red peppers instead of the tomato pesto? Do you know I literally just drooled!!

      I totally will make this next time with roasted red peppers!! ♥♥♥

      Thank you so much for the trying and coming back with your changes... that's what cooking is all about my friend!!

      Thank you again!! ♥

  9. Replies
    1. Oh both? Double cool!!
      Love it!!!

      Thank you so much Michael!!