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Thursday, February 12, 2009

BB: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn't love spaghetti and meatballs? It's serious comfort food. I haven't really been successful yet with making good meatballs, but I enjoyed this recipe (we used all ground chicken in place of the veal/pork/beef). The thing I didn't like was the sauce. I guess I just like a covers-everything sauce, as opposed to something more sparse and chunky as I did with this recipe. Of course, maybe it's my fault, I didn't get the crushed tomatoes because I had a can of whole ones in the pantry and just crushed them by hand. Either way, I'll stick to my favorite recipe for sauce, but continue making these meatballs!
Real Spaghetti and Meatballs
Chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake
Real Spaghetti and Meatballs from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, page 103
See more at Barefoot Bloggers

For the meatballs:

* 1/2 pound ground veal
* 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
* 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 extra-large egg, beaten
* Vegetable oil
* Olive oil

For the sauce:

* 1 tablespoon good olive oil
* 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

* 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
* Freshly grated Parmesan


Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.


Domestic Kate said...

I think the lack of sauce was the recipe - I cut the meatball part in half, and used the whole sauce recipe with the crushed tomatoes, and we still didn't have much. I did like the flavor, though, but do like a lot more also!

Rebecca said...

Love a big bowl of fusilli. So cute!

I didn't think there was enough sauce, either. I like SAUCE. So, I wound up doubling just the sauce recipe the next day and adding some spices. I need to see some red, Ina!

Lisa said...

I had plenty of sauce but I also used the crushed tomatoes and halved the meatball mixture (so instead of two pounds of meat, I only used 1 pound so I had less meatballs invading my sauce).
Otherwise though I can see how you could run into sauce issues. Yours look delish though!

Carrie's Creations said...

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That Girl said...

Congratulations on your first successful meatballs! The sauce is a much easier fix.

Aggie said...

Looks really great! I like a light sauce, but I think I like a heavier sauce with meatballs. Your pasta looks delish!

Anonymous said...

I did the same, not on purpose but because I ran out of time, and used only half the meat mix with all the sauce. I sounds like crushed tomatoes are the way to go!

Penny said...

Glad to be a part of the group. I agree with you. Too many meatballs, not enough sauce.