Thursday, February 5, 2009

{meatballs and spaghetti}

image via {gourmet}
I have never really liked traditional spaghetti- ever. It was just always boring and starchy and was never something I chose to make for myself. After marrying D and finding out how much he LOVED meatballs and spaghetti, I knew I was going to have to figure something out to compromise. Every recipe I have ever tried of Ina's has come out great, so I figured she would be the place to go for a good spaghetti and meatball recipe. I did make some changes to the original recipe to health-en it up a little and to make it more convenient for me. My sister-in-law saw the following spaghetti sauce recipe on Emeril Green and when she made it, I almost died because it was so delicious. The best thing is that the sauce gets really deep in flavor over time, so I think you could throw it in a crock pot all day. I can't even tell you how amazing these recipes are together, how cost efficient they are, and if you plan, the opportunity you have to cut back on time and reduce waste by freezing the leftovers to use for delicious lunches like meatball sandwiches and homemade pizza. I am officially converted to meatballs and spaghetti...in moderation of course!

Ina's Meatballs (adapted from this recipe)

2 lbs ground turkey or whatever ground meat you have on hand
1 cup fresh wheat bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed...toast and then grind)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (or dried...that's all I have on hand)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I have also used a Jack or any other white cheese that's in the fridge)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

Place the ground meat, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, 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 (these are big meatballs so feel free to make them smaller and freeze the rest)

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch (just a glug or two). 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.

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.

Emeril's Tomato Sauce (found here)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onions (1 medium yellow onion)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves garlic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes*
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste**
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a medium, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes.

Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and sugar to the pot and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a heavy wooden spoon.

*We have substituted the diced cans of tomatoes which you can find at the grocery store for a really good deal

**We have also just omitted the paste before and it works out fine too...I think the extra long cooking time helps to make up for the loss of deep tomato flavor.

1 love notes:

becca b said...

This looks super good. I'm going to have to make it tomorrow night or something because it just looks spectacular. Thanks for all the recipes!