11/02/2011 02:32 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Pesto Meatball Pizza

In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello -- chef, author and food stylist -- shows busy moms how to make meals using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges. In this episode, Lauren shows Peggy S., a registered nurse and mother of four, how to use pesto in dishes other than pasta. She incorporates it into meatballs, then turns the meatballs into a topping for a hearty pizza.

To start off, Lauren combines beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, pesto, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing the ingredients well with her hands. This meatball preparation is faster than most since the pesto is a substitute for multiple individual ingredients (like garlic, Parmesan and herbs). She forms golf ball–sized meatballs and sets them aside on a plate.

Next, she browns the meatballs in a heavy skillet with a little bit of olive oil. These meatballs are small, so she's able to cook them completely through by browning them for about 4 minutes. She then transfers the finished meatballs to a paper-towel lined plate.

While these meatballs would be delicious on their own, served with tomato sauce, baked into a lasagna or on top of a pasta dish, Lauren decides to make a homemade pizza and use her meatballs as a hearty topping.

Get the Recipe for PEsto Meatball Pizza.