January 23, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs


If we need to talk about comfort food we're headed for spaghetti and meatballs.  It's like a warm fire on a cold day, or slipping into a pair of flannel pajamas.  It's a natural fit and I'm all to happy to indulge.  Since every time I make spaghetti and meatballs, all be it once a year, I google a new recipe, it seems intelligent that I'd write down a winning recipe.  You want a hint?  Don't muddle up your sauce, keep it simple.  Simple always wins with spaghetti in my books.  No vinegars, no sugars, who has basil in the middle of winter anyway?  Use great summer tomatoes (canned or otherwise) and super quality oregano and you've got a winning recipe.

Can I mention something else?  This upcoming summer I need you to do something.  Buy the boxes of really cheap tomatoes from the farmers market in mid-September, when people are desperate to get rid of them.  Like a box for $5 bucks kinda cheap.  Stick the entire box in the freezer.  That's an order not an option.  There, you've "preserved" the tomatoes.  Now throughout the fall/winter/spring you've got tomatoes...and they taste great!  You want them peeled?  Let them thaw on the counter a few minutes, the peels slide right off.  Don't care? Toss them into your cooking frozen, they'll melted away in no time.  Please do this, you'll love yourself next year.  Just think about all the money you'll save!

Spaghetti and Meatballs


Serves: 5-6 people
Source: Adapted from here & my meatball recipe

4 parts beef (500g)
1 part sausage (125g)
a couple strips of bacon (1.5)
handful of panko crumbs (3-4 Tbsp)
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
chopped parsley (2 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 of an onion, grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cloves of garlic, minced
12-15 whole tomatoes from the freezer with the stem-end chopped off, or 28oz awesome quality canned tomatoes
salt and pepper

1 box of good quality pasta (The best I could find was Barilla, and I liked it!)

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together.  Roll into small balls and refrigerate until needed.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, oregano and 1/2 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are getting to be golden or the liquid has evaporated, only a few minutes.  Add the garlic and cook quickly, 30 seconds or so.  Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer.  Turn the heat down to maintain the simmer, about medium-low.  Drop in the meatballs and simmer until the sauce is thickened.  It took about 30-40 minutes for mine.  It will take for less time with canned tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.

While the sauce is simmering bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain the pasta and set aside while you wait.

Enjoy with a wonderful slice of garlic cheese bread and a simple green salad.  It doesn't get much better!

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