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Lemony Bowties With Greek Meatballs
Recipe courtesy North Dakota Wheat Commission


Ingredients
Serves 4 to 5

Meatballs:
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons milk
1 small onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped mint, or 1 teaspoon dried mint flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
Flour for dusting, about 1 cup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sauce:
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bowtie pasta (farfalle)
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil cut in thin julienne strips, divided
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (or black olives)
4 ounces feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 a large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)


Instructions
In large mixing bowl combine all ingredients for meatballs except flour and oil. Mix well. Using a tablespoon of meat mixture, shape meatballs. Place meatballs on a plate of flour, turning gently to coat. Makes about 30 meatballs. Over medium-high in a 10-inch skillet, heat oil. Fry meatballs, turning to brown all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

In small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, juice, oil, pepper, garlic and salt; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place in a 2-quart deep baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Add lemon sauce and toss to coat. Add 1/4 cup basil, olives and feta cheese, tossing gently to combine. Place meatballs over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated 300-degree oven 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Remove from oven. Top with remaining basil, tomato and cucumber. Serve immediately.


Nutritional Information
Per 5 servings: 655 calories, 37 g protein, 49 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 35 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 124 mg cholesterol, 122 mcg folate, 4 mg iron, 1602 mg sodium.