Familia! It’s been a while since I wrote on here so, here I am. Writing. I also feel like I owe you some recipes and because Good Morning America bumped my segment until next week, I do want to give you the recipes I promised you today anyway! Meatballs with Garlicky Zucchini Pasta that can then easily become Sopa de Albondigas (meatball soup) with Fideo. I don’t really see how you can have leftovers of the first one so if you don’t, just boil some pasta and throw it in the soup. Sear the albondigas on their own and then throw them into the soup to finish cooking. No need to fully execute the first recipe to be able to make the second!

But back to all things Casa Marcela for a minute. I wanted to say THANK YOU. A big fat GRACIAS for all of your support in the last few weeks. Life threw us all a massive curveball last year and we’re all doing the best we can. These zoom classes and the Caja Marcela Box project have given me so much joy to work on. I had been fearful in the past to commit to new ventures, such as these, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge… so plunge I did! Our first round of boxes sold out in minutes and our zoom cooking classes are selling out to one thousand students per class! I am feeling, for the first time in a long while, VERY excited and motivated and incredibly grateful to all of you. I am listening though. You guys like traditional Mexican food but you don’t want long and complex recipes! You like full menus because you use these meals to serve your family on the night of the events. There’s so much coming you guys. Working on a virtual “casa” where you can come in, have some café de la olla and have access to all of this content and recipes and so much more. In short, there’s a lot of work to do but I know it’s where I need to be because I can’t wait to get to it every single morning. Again, thank you for your support and kind words. Bringing the beauty of Mexico to you has been the purpose of my career since day one. To be able to do it fully, organically and accurately at this point in my life is an absolute blessing. All of this thanks to YOU! Gracias. Somos familia!

Marcela Valladolid

Meatballs with Garlicky Zucchini Pasta

Serves 4

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 zucchini, halved, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked with ½ cup cooking liquid reserved

  • Parmesan cheese

  • Crushed red pepper

  • ½ lime

Make small, 1-inch meatballs out of the ground beef and your favorite seasoning. I use something called Santa Maria that is a mix of onion powder, garlic powder and other seasonings. Add soy sauce, cumin and oregano.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan and add meatballs to sear on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Add garlic and remaining oil. Saute 1 minute. Add zucchini and saute 8 minutes until tender. Remove to a different plate. Return meatballs to pan with ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Simmer until almost all of liquid is reduced and meatballs are fully cooked, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile mix pasta, parsley and sautéed zucchini in large pot. Transfer to platter. Top with meatballs and drizzle any meatball juices over pasta. Top with plenty of parm, a squeeze of lime juice and crushed red pepper

Sopa de Albondiga and Fideo

(made with leftover meatballs and pasta)

Serves 4

Any leftover meatballs and pasta, using kitchen shears, cut pasta into 1-inch lengths (like fideo)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 tomato, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 large carrot, chopped

  • 1 serrano chile

  • 2 Bay leaves

  • Oregano

  • Cumin

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 4 minutes. Add garlic, serrano and carrot and saute 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and 5 cups water (or veggie broth) and bring to a boil. Add meatballs, bay leaves, sprinkle of oregano and cumin and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors 10 minutes. Add pasta and stir to heat up pasta. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with hot sauce and lime.