Monday, November 28, 2011

Dinner on the Fly: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs.  Do I even need to write anything else?  It is sinful and comforting, ethnic and universal.  Some version of this classic dish has been a part of almost all of our kitchens growing up.  My favorite version of it is the simplest one.  What is your recipe?  Do you make it spicy or give it a twist?

  • 1/2 lb ground beef, pork or veal (or a combination)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with  parchment paper.  Put all the ingredients a food processor and pulse until blended.  Careful not to pulse too much or you will get a puree.  take about 1/2 a cup of your mixture (small snowball size ) and roll into a ball.  Place each one on the parchment paper lined pan about 2 inches apart.  Keep a bowl of water nearby to dip your hands in so that the meat doesn't stick when you are rolling it. Bake for 25 minutes. then add to your tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce
  • one can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • sea salt
  • black pepper 
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium low heat.  Add garlic (with cloves intact or chopped if you like your sauce a little more garlicky).  Sautee` until fragrant but be careful not to burn.  When fragrant add your tomatoes and stir.  Keep at a simmer for about an hour.  Add meatballs when done (about 25 minutes into your simmer). Add salt, pepper and parsley before serving.  Top with Parmesan cheese after tossing with your cooked pasta.


    1. Nice meatballs and sauce.
      Have you ever tried adding the meatballs to the sauce after forming? That way you can avoid frying and baking.

    2. Such a great comment.

      My mom does it that way actually. I have tried frying them first also. I think the difference is in the density. When I fried them and then put them in the sauce they were denser. Baking them less so. Then without either they are the least dense. All good, just different. it has been fun experimenting.