Raining (with a chance of meatballs)

Though I haven't yet seen the movie, I couldn't resist the reference. Tonight we're enjoying the first of two back-to-back nor'easters. The rain is falling on the windows and the temperature is dropping. A good night for a nice warm dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.

As written in an earlier post, my sauce "recipe" (I use quotes as I almost never actually look at a recipe, rather just throw ingredients in the pot) is borrowed from my sister-in-law Erin, who borrowed it from her mother-in-law Janet. Well, it's the same story for my meatballs. The same day I followed Erin around her kitchen watching her make sauce and guessing at the quantities of ingredients she was including, I also watched her whip up a batch of delicious meatballs. Thank you Erin and Janet for sharing your wonderful dishes!

My variation of Janet's meatballs has varied a bit (possibly quite a bit) from the original. This is due in part to me misplacing my notes from watching Erin cook that day so many years ago. Up until this year, I would follow my instructions written on Hello Kitty! notepaper when it came to making meatballs. I don't make them all that often and liked the reminder so I could get the proportions correct. Well, I've lost my notes. So, I'm left with my memory. Yes, I could have just picked up the phone and asked Erin, "how many eggs do you use?" But, I thought I'd made them often enough to swing it. Below is the recipe I came up with tonight.

Note: the red pepper flake makes for a spicy meatball. Adjust the amount you use (if any) based on how much heat you like. To test the spices in your meatballs before cooking the whole batch, make up a small patty of your mixture and cook it up in a fry pan. Then you can adjust your seasonings as necessary.

Ready to go into the oven...


1 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage
2 slices bread, soaked in water and squeezed in your hand to get most of the water out
2 eggs
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 c. bread crumbs (plain -- if you want to use seasoned crumbs, adjust the following herbs as needed)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1 1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. thyme

Mix all of the ingredients together in a big bowl by hand. You are going to get dirty (take off any rings before you begin), but it's the only way to go. Roll 1 inch balls in your palms and put on a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet with a 1 inch rim. Put the meatballs right up next to each other, no space in between. Cook at 375 deg. for about 35 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve with sauce on sandwiches or with pasta.


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