1.08.2013

Spaghetti and Meatballs with a easy homemade Marinara Sauce


Spaghetti and meatballs with caprese salad and a good piece of ciabatta bread
Who doesn't love a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Well, actually if you are a vegetarian then I guess it wouldn't be your cup of tea. In one of our classic skype cooking dates, Stacy and I decided that we were going to make some the quintessential Italian dish. Most people like to buy their meatballs in the store already made so that it will be a quick dinner with little hassle  if you have the time, patience and a good bottle of wine, I say experiment and make your own, you won't regret it!

In every Italian family there are different ways to make meatballs so the recipe can be adjusted to your tastes and desired consistency. I loosely borrowed from Lidia's Favorite Recipes book but had to adjust spices and such. I also believe in making your own sauce instead of heating up the jar sauces because it takes the same amount of time but adds more flavor and personality to your dishes. Don't be fooled, this sauce is easy and delicious!

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

Marinara Sauce with Meatballs!
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 tbls olive oil
1 to 2 medium onions diced
3-5 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbls rosemary
1 tbls thyme
1 tbls basil
1 tbls oregano
salt
pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan heat the oil on medium heat then add the onions to the pan, stir, add some salt and pepper and let it cook for approx. 2 min.
2. Add the garlic and stir for 1 min then reduce heat to medium low, cover and let the onions sweat till translucent.
3. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, increase the heat to bring the tomatoes to a boil. Once boiling cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 15-20 min.
4. Add the spices and a little bit more salt and pepper, cover and let simmer for another 5-10 min.
5. Once ready turn off the heat and either add your pasta or let it sit until you need it.

*I always add the spices in the last 10-15 min of cooking a sauce because if you add them before they will get lost in the sauce and there will be no additional flavor. This is something my mother taught me and her sauces were always the best and not just according to her family!

Making Meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground beef has no more than 80 % lean. You want the fat it will help hold the meatballs together!
1 c Italian breadcrumbs
1/2  cup parmasean cheese
2 eggs beaten
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbls dried parsley
1 tsp of salt
fresh ground pepper
all purpose flour for dredging

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare large cookie sheet with sides with foil and spray lightly with non stick spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl crumble beef then sprinkle in bread crumbs, parmasean cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs and garlic. Mix with hands lightly until combined. Be careful to not over mix or the meat will become tough.
Dredging through flour

3. Take meat mixture and roll lightly into 1 1/2 inch balls. Dredge through the flour then set on prepared cookie sheet and repeat.
4. Once all the meat is gone place the sheet in the oven for 15-20 min until the outside is a nice golden brown, turning them halfway through. Start to boil the water for your pasta here.
before going into the oven
5.  To finish the meatballs add them to your prepared and heated up sauce. Cover the sauce and let them cook for another 10-20 min. Take a meatball out and cut it open to ensure there is no pink inside. This would be the time to cook your pasta.
6. Once they have cooked, turn off heat and add some of the sauce to the prepared pasta.


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