The Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 50 minutes
-4 c. Pomodoro Sauce (recipe below) or good-quality jarred sauce, heated
-1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
-1 small onion, chopped, about 1/3 c.
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
-1/2 c. milk
-2 thick slices firm white bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes (about 1 cup)
-3/4 lb each ground beef and ground pork
-1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
-1 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese (1 cup)
-1/2 c. basil leaves
-1 lb. spaghetti
Make Pomodoro Sauce.
Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Pour milk over bread and let soak.
In a large bowl, combine the meats, egg, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
Squeeze excess milk out of bread; add bread to the meat mixture along with the onion mixture. Gently combine all of the ingredients. Shape the mixture into 12 balls, about 1.75″ in diameter.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in the same nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a 9×9″ baking dish. Spoon 2 cups of the Pomodoro Sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle with mozzarella and half of the basil leaves. Bake 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta and toss with the remaining 2 cups Pomodoro Sauce, adding cooking liquid if necessary. Spoon meatballs over pasta; garnish with the remaining basil leaves and Parmesan Cheese.
-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
-1 med. onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 cans (28 oz each) whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, juices reserved
-1 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Carefully add tomatoes and about 3/4 c. of the reserved juices. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Continue to simmer for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes, and adding more reserved liquid if necessary. Stir in fresh basil.
Makes 4 cups.
*Notes on this recipe: I used “good-quality jarred sauce” because right now I just didn’t have the time to make the sauce myself. I also forgot to buy the “thick, firm white bread”, so I used a few slices of what I had in the pantry. I ran out of eggs, so I didn’t squeeze as much of the milk out. The meatballs didn’t stay together as well as they would have with the egg, but they were still freakin’ tasty.
I was also having issues finding decent looking basil, so I left that out. I wonder if basil’s just one of those things that isn’t decent during the winter? No matter, I REALLY need to start my own herb garden.