Main Courses

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pomodoro Sauce

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In trying to create ” THE perfect version” of this dish, I checked many sources and  discovered that while the common thread is meat, formed into balls, each and every cook puts their own spin on this dish.

Here, then, is my version of Spaghetti and Meatballs

Serves 4

Time about  1 hour

Meatballs

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground pork

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (torn from 2 slices of bread)

2 eggs, beaten to blend

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Put all ingredients in large bowl and with your hands, mix together well.   Moisten hands with water and form into balls, slightly larger than golfballs (If you have a kitchen scale, 55 grams).

Line meatballs up in baking dish, they should be touching each other in the pan, but not crowded.  An 8″ x 8″ baking dish will hold 16 meatballs.   If you have extra meatballs, either use a slightly larger pan or a second baking dish.

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Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, leave in pan and keep warm while you make the spaghetti and sauce.

SIMPLE POMODORO SAUCE & ASSEMBLY

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2  14 oz cans tomato sauce

1/2 white onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 large sprigs of fresh basil (divided)

1 Tablespoon butter

500 grams (1 lb) spaghetti or linguini or any long pasta of your choosing

Kosher or Sea salt

Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over top

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add onions and  cook, stirring often, until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.   Do not let them  brown.  Add garlic and cook, stirring  3 minutes more.  Stir in red pepper flakes.

Add tomato sauce, increase heat to medium and let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly.  Remove from heat, stir in 3 basil sprigs and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions until about 2 minutes before completely cooked.

Scoop out  and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.

Remove and discard basil from the sauce, and add the reserved pasta water.  Heat sauce over medium-high heat and bring to boil.  Add butter and the drained pasta and cook, stirring until butter is incorporated, sauce coats pasta and pasta is fully cooked.  About 2 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl, nestle meatballs  in the spaghetti and sauce, sprinkle with grated parmesan and torn basil leaves (from that extra sprig of basil) and serve.

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