Spaghetti and Meatballs

 

Spaghetti Meatballs

 

For many Americans Spaghetti with Meatballs is a comfort food.  Maybe not as high on the rankings as Mac ‘n Cheese, but still.  It wasn’t for us.  Now it is.  The combination of spaghetti and meatballs, however universally known and loved, is a relatively new one for me.  No, I have not been hiding under a rock all my life.  I grew up in The Netherlands.  Eating meatballs.  By themselves.  Not hidden in tomato sauce.  And for the past 13 years of living in the States, I have (honestly) kinda refused to make (what I thought) was an sacrilege of both meatballs and spaghetti.

Just to redeem myself here, we have converted and Spaghetti and Meatballs now has proudly placed itself on our list of comfort foods.  I love that this recipe uses fresh ingredients.  The only (practically) canned item is the crushed tomatoes.  I guess I could precook and then crush them using the pulse function on my food processor, but to be honest, I hate cleaning my food processor.  So, 1 can of crushed tomatoes + fresh ingredients, makes for a pretty darn good dish.

Meatballs are always a hit in this household.  (That’s the Dutch gene shining through.)  Well, and spaghetti…cannot go wrong with a spaghetti.  Add cheese to that and the boys are seated at the dinner table as soon as I call them.  It’s magic!

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients.  Most of those ingredients are added at one time to either the meatballs or the sauce, so the making is actually quite easy.  I’d say about 30-40 minutes and you have yourself a delicious (fresh) Spaghetti and Meatballs dinner on the table.  Of course you can serve it with bread (if you’d like), but the must have is a nice glass of Chianti and you’re all set.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • salt, for pasta water

For the meatballs:

  • 1-1/4 lb. ground sirloin
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (a couple of handfuls)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • Handful of chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated, for passing at the table

 

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti.  When it boils, add the salt and pasta and cook to al dente.
  • Mix the beef and the Worcestershire sauce, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Roll the meat into 1-1/2″ medium-sized meatballs and place on a nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with olive oil.
  • Bake them for 10-12 minutes, until no longer pink.
  • Heat a deep skillet or medium pot over moderate heat.
  • Add the oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion and saute 5-7 minutes, until the onion bits are soft.
  • Add the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Toss the hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce and grated cheese.  Turn the meatballs in the remaining sauce.
  • Place the pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce and extra grated cheese.

Serves: 4

Enjoy!

(Recipe by: Rachel Ray)

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Share Your Thoughts:

Do you have a recipe that you refused to make for a long time, but once you did, it was a hit?  Tell me about it, I’d love to hear!

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