November 4, 2015

Do whatcha wanna! (spaghetti and meatballs)

I made it back from my pal Lisa's bachelorette party in Florida a few weeks ago earlier than I thought I would.  I had no plans that evening except to unpack, unwind and do laundry.  Since I am incapable of unwinding on a Sunday (or really ever!), I decided to make meatballs.  

Backing up...  I was in the burbs as I rode with my sister and her best friend.  I was wondering what I should have for dinner.  I also decided to go to my favorite old school grocery store, Dorignacs. They are undergoing a remodel, but this place is a gem, very old school with  hard to find items, specialty meats, breads and a killer wine selection.  They sell a mix of ground beef, pork and veal for meatballs and meatloaf that is not sold anywhere else that I know of.  I had tomatoes, bread crumbs and eggs on hand.  I still had a bit of my Dreamfields Low Carb pasta I won a case of in a giveaway from I was born to cook a long while ago.  I was a tinch hungover.  It was time for some spaghetti and meatballs! This is a pretty traditional recipe.  I have made them different ways over the years, putting a cube of mozzarella in the middle, a piece of garlic in the middle, baked in the oven, you name it. This time it was just old school plain Jane.  Full recipe after the montage.

The cast.  Yes this was taken in my kitchen, as you may have noticed I got some props to make the pics look better!  I left out red pepper flakes and sugar out of the pic.  It was an accident.

Everything goes in a bowl and is mixed by hand.  Make sure you remove rings and Alex and Ani bracelets and have no open wounds...or is that just me that has to worry about such things?
All mixed up and ready to go
Roll them into balls the size of your choice.  I made mine about an inch and a half in diameter.
Fry them on all sides until browned, but not cooked through.  I was trying to get the last bit of natural light in this pic.  I failed.

Start your sauce.  This is onion, garlic and olive oil. Smells delightful.
Break up your whole tomatoes by hand and add them in.  Also sprinkle red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper and italian seasoning.
Cook for 15 minutes then add your meatballs and cook for another 10.  You can cook longer if you want the flavors to meld more.
Make your pasta.  These low carb noodles taste just the same with less guilt.  I don't like spaghetti squash, wish I did.
Sprinkle some mozzarella or parmesean and enjoy!
Clearly it was terrible....

Spaghetti and Meatballs:

1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (and more if not binding enough)
1/4 cup tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large egg
Olive oil

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil (I eyeballed and drizzled)
1 chopped medium sized yellow onion
5 cloves minced garlic
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes in puree, broken apart with your hands or can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp italian seasoning.
For serving:
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan or mozzarella

Directions

Place the ground meats, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and egg in a bowl. Combine with hands mixing well but not harshly. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 1/12 to 2-inch meatballs. You will have about 14 meatballs.  Pour olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. 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. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Keep the remnants in the pan.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a dutch oven. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in the remnants from the meatballs. Stir in the tomatoes,  and seasonings and cook for 15 minutes.  Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 10-20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and top with cheese.

Happy Cooking!

Missy



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