Thursday, December 3, 2015

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This recipe for meatballs and sauce comes from Serious Eats.  It was actually the first recipe I made from Serious Eats, the description about the author's Friday Night Meatball tradition intrigued me.  I first made it a year ago and absolutely loved it.  The sauce is perfectly savory and flavorful, even though it doesn't have many ingredients, and the meatballs are among the best I've ever had.  I'm particular about tomato sauce and meatballs, so you know these are good!  The meatballs are great served over raw spinach, roasted veggies, or as meatball subs, too.  This recipe is simple, but takes at least two hours to get on the table, so plan accordingly!
Quick Note:  I've changed this recipe a little.  The biggest thing is that I use a lot less salt.  I also put the entire 1/2 C parsley into the meatballs.  Didn't realize until I'd made it a couple times that half the parsley was supposed to go in the sauce, but it doesn't hurt the meatballs at all!  Also, this most recent time I served the sauce and meatballs over whole wheat penne.  The plan had been to use spaghetti, but the box I thought was in the pantry had been used up!  Turns out the sturdiness of the penne really held up well to the sauce, I may do it this way in the future occasionally.
2 Tbsp butter
7 cloves garlic, freshly minced
6 oz can tomato paste
2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, crushed with hands
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 slices bread in crumbs
1/2 C minced parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp Goya seasoning
2 T dried minced onion
3/4 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
2 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp olive oil
grated parmesan to serve
cooked pasta
Heat butter/oil in a large pot over medium.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add tomato paste and stir constantly for 1 more minute.  Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, cover pot, and reduce heat to low while you make the meatballs.
Stir together bread crumbs, parsley, Goya seasoning, onion, pepper, and eggs.  Add ground beef and mix gently just until well combined (don't over mix).  Form meat into 1 1/2-2 inch balls and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium and add a single layer of meatballs.  Brown meatballs on all sides, turning gently with tongs.  Place meatballs into simmering sauce and brown the rest of the meatballs.
When all the meatballs are browned, stir them gently in the sauce making sure not to break them up, and simmer over low heat, uncovered (but use a spatter screen!), for 1 hour 15 minutes (you can go as long as 2 hours), stirring occasionally.  You'll have to stir more frequently as the sauce cooks down.  Serve sauce and meatballs over cooked pasta, sprinkled with parmesan.
Yield:  About 8 servings

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