- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
- 4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup dry red wine or beef broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 12 ounces uncooked rigatoni or large tube pasta
- ALFREDO TOPPING:
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a Dutch oven, brown meatballs in oil in batches; remove and keep warm.
- Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. In the drippings, saute onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add wine; cook and stir for 3 minutes.
- Return meatballs to the pan; stir in tomatoes and parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
- Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Drain rigatoni; place in a large bowl. Add meatballs and sauce; stir to coat. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
- Top with Alfredo sauce; sprinkle with thyme, oregano and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Meatball Rigatoni Alfredo in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2008, p48
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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