As a parent, I dread Halloween. The evening is filled with jarring looking candies that my kiddies scarf down like there’s no tomorrow. To top it off, it’s also my son’s birthday on the same day – now try saying NO!
I made a phone call to my friend and kidfresh founder Matt Cohen to release my Halloween angst. If anyone knows how to oomph-up meal appeal, it’s Matt – after all he has been making kiddie ‘heat and eat dinners’ for years. His solution: Eyeballs and Pasta, A.K.A meatballs and pasta. His idea was not far off from Rachael’s original Worms and Eyeballs recipe, only these are a little more ‘googley-eyed’.
With a few little tricks, this wholesome meal transforms into freaky eyeballs. I did a dummy run to test them on the kids and what a hit! The best part, no fancy artistic skills are required. Just some cooked meatballs that are finished in the oven for a few seconds with small squares of cheese and sliced olives (think iris, pupils and the white part) and tada!
In fact, rally up the kids and have them turn the meatballs into eyeballs – it’s a fun group activity. I plan on making extra, after all, there’s no reason why the grown-ups can’t eat this too.
Recipe For Eyeball Pasta
1lb lean ground beef
½ carrot, grated
1 celery stick, grated
½ onion, finely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
5 Slices of cheese
Pitted olives, cut in to slices across the profile
12-ounce jar of marinara sauce
½ a sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1 lb boiled pasta
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine the meatball mixture and form 15 round balls. Sauté until cooked through on a frying pan
3. Cut cheese slices in to 4 squares. Lay a piece on one side of the meatball
4. Place on a sheetpan and in the oven for approximately 3 minutes until the cheese has lightly melted over
5. Remove from oven and stick the sliced olive on the center of the square
6. Heat the marinara sauce with the sweet potato and combine with boiled pasta. Lay the meatballs over the top
More Halloween treats and snacks:
Saira Malhotra, is of British–Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: www.passportpantry.com where she shares approachable and international recipes
Images courtesy of Pam Kirkbride