Homemade Meatballs (and Spaghetti)
Tonight's creation comes to you from the only cookbook I've ever used more than once:
Have I mentioned before how much I completely love this book? Well, in case I hadn't--I LOVE THIS BOOK! The recipes are simple and don't use pre-packaged ingredients, which is wonderful since I'm trying to keep my family as preservative and food dye free as possible.
So, tonight I made Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs (located on page 27!). The whole recipe only took about a half hour to make, which I would say makes it an original 30 minute meal =) I thought about cutting the recipe time by using a store bought organic pasta sauce, but I took the time to make the sauce as directed.
First thing is to make the meatballs by combining a pound of ground beef and a half pound of ground pork. (make sure you do this because the pork adds lots of flavor to the meatballs.) Mix the meats together with salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and onion. I always have chopped onion on hand in my freezer (done myself!) so that part was a breeze. Next, dredge the meatballs in some flour and pan fry with a couple tablespoons of butter (or oil, if that's your thing.)
Next, get yourself some water boiling for the spaghetti. Obviously, I didn't make the pasta myself (but I'd like to learn how!!) but the pasta I used was organic! Do I get bonus points for that, at least?! The recipe has two variations: a baked spaghetti version and a standard plated spaghetti version. I chose the baked spaghetti.
After the meatballs had browned on all sides in my pan, I moved them to a glass baking dish while i made the sauce and the pasta. I left the browned butter with all the meathball fryin' goodness in the pan and added my tomatoes. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I added some basil, oregano, thyme and garlic to taste. This simmered down until the pasta was ready. And when it was, I dumped the pasta over the meatballs, added the cream to the tomatoes (I used about a half cup) and poured it over the noodles in the baking dish. Add a good layer of actual Parmesan cheese (not that powder stuff in the back of your fridge!!!) and bake it for about 20-25 minutes at about 350.... and Cerca!!! è Perfetto!
Let me just tell you that I am not a fan of Italian food, but my son is. Sigh. So, I make it because I love him =) But I actually went back for seconds! I highly recommend the next time you decide to make spaghetti, use this recipe!!! It's fantastico!