A fun play on spaghetti and meatballs turns pasta and meat into melon and cheese — it’s sweet, savory and absolutely divine!
My boys (10 & 12), like to watch Food Network Star. So we all watch and it’s become one of our “family shows.” 🙂 Do you watch?
The idea for this unique, delicious recipe came to me when I was watching the show a couple of weeks ago. The cooking challenge included Rhett and Link, hosts of a popular YouTube channel Good Mythical Morning. Each finalist participated in what’s called a “Will It?” segment, pairing unlikely ingredients and asking questions like “Will It Kimchi?” and “Will It Cookie?”
The finalists were given a “Will It” dish, and an ingredient they have to make with it. For example, Damiano, (the oh-so-easy-on-the-eyes Italian with the oh-so-dreamy-accent), was given the question, “Melon, Will It Spaghetti and Meatballs?”As they do for every challenge, my boys asked me what I would do. I told them I’d do a play on spaghetti and meatballs, using melon as the pasta and fresh mozzarella for the meatballs, with a fresh sauce of some sort. Damiano made spaghetti and used melon wrapped in prosciutto as the meatballs. It looked delicious, and I think Damiano is fabulous, but I think my idea might be a bit more clever — just saying. (Here’s Damiano finishing his dish.)
And while this dish I created is certainly an unexpected combination of flavors, it works. And it works really well! In my humble opinion, of course. 😉
The sweet melon with the salty prosciutto, the bit of crunch from the golden pine nuts, the creamy mozzarella — all strewn with aromatic basil and garlic. My oh my is it good!
- approximately 4½-pounds melon (I used a combination of Sugar Kiss & Summer Kiss melons)
- 3-ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto
- 6 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
- 2 cups packed basil leaves, washed and dried
- 4 small cloves garlic, peeled and roots removed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups small, fresh mozzarella balls (about the size of cherries)
- freshly ground black pepper
- To prepare the melon, cut about ½-inch off of the top and bottom, and then moving your knife downwards into the fruit, just inside the rind, cut off the skin. You'll curve your knife slightly to follow the shape of the melon. Then cut the melon in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Place the melon halves, round side up, and then cut it into super thin slices, lengthwise. Then, cut those thin slices into very thin strips, like this:
- Set the melon aside in a large serving bowl.
- Cut the prosciutto into very thin strips and add them to the melon, separating the slices with your fingers as you do so (they easily stick together).
- Add the pine nuts to a small sauté pan and place it over medium-low heat. Moving the pan around often, heat just until they're golden, about 3 minutes. (Be careful, as they can go from just right to too dark in seconds.) Set aside to cool.
- Add the basil, 4 tablespoons of the toasted pine nuts, garlic and salt to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend everything together. Next add the oil and blend until it's as smooth as possible. Use a rubber spatula to get every last bit out of the food processor as you add it to the melon and prosciutto mixture.
- Add the mozzarella balls and gently toss everything together.
- Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts to the top along with a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve immediately.