Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crispy Asparagus Balls with Pasta in Marinara Sauce

Boy, these past few weeks were thrown at me at full force.  Between two rounds of antibiotics--though not consecutively--to combat awful bacterial infection, I was invited to a friend's graduation picnic and I had to show up for orientation & training for a new job.  The graduation picnic left me momentously happy since it marked the day my friend finally finished her nursing school; for the past four years I have to coordinate my carpool schedule with her school schedule.  The orientation and training left me exhausted.  I wish they would combine all the training into one day.  But, nonetheless, I could start my job next week.  With the weather's hopefully turning bright and warm, I also think that my disposition would turn more cheerful.

asparagus and onion

organic eggs

Local asparagus started to show up in the markets and I found a recipe called crispy asparagus balls.  When I was thinking about making these, I was thinking that the balls could be a great replacement of meatballs in a pasta with marinara sauce dish.  And it was a great idea to sneak in asparagus in my son's diet.  I'm not the kind of person who usually sneak in vegetables in disguise, but my son isn't the greatest fan of asparagus.  Whereas I love it!  So, the asparagus balls weren't so bad at all; they definitely are best when they just come out of the oven, crispy and goey inside.

And what's best was that I got local, organic eggs from my husband's friend at that time.  I just love the color of the eggs and the freshness of the eggs, they were such beauties that I had to take pictures of them.

organic eggs

organic eggs

Crispy Asparagus Balls with Pasta in Marinara Sauce

Serves 4-6

1 lbs asparagus, trimmed and chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Any size of pasta, cook according to the package's direction

Marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.  In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add onion and garlic;  sauté for 4 minutes.   Add asparagus, salt and pepper.  Continue to cook until asparagus is tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

Using a food processor, pulse asparagus mixture 6 to 8 pulses.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and asparagus mixture.  Stir in bread crumbs and cheese; combine thoroughly.
asparagus, eggs, breadcrumbs

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tablespoon of the mixture, and place on a baking sheet that has been oiled with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Flip and bake another 5 to 7 minutes, or until crispy.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
making asparagus balls

To serve with pasta and marinara sauce, cook pasta according to the package's direction.  Use homemade or store-bought marinara sauce to accompany the dish.

Source:  adapted from Market of Choice recipe.


  1. Looks delicious! Never heard of asparagus balls and I love the idea

    Me neither until I found the recipe. I love to try new ideas, so here it is :)

  2. I love the way the crispy asparagus balls was created, It is a nutritious meal instead of meat ball you used asparagus.