Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I know, I know...does the world need another recipe for spaghetti and meatballs?  Google alone had over 1,880,000 results when I checked this morning. But I really, really like my version...a combination of my Mom's recipe with my tweaks. And it occurred to me that, after six years of blogging, I have never shared this beloved, comfort-food-at-its-best, dish at Napa Farmhouse 1885.

My mom's meatballs are very similar to mine but she cooks her sauce all day. She starts in the morning...lets it simmer all day...and she does not finish the meatballs in the sauce. She uses the oven method. She cooks the pasta, adds meatballs (she makes really big ones so people normally need just 1 or 2) and she then ladles the sauce over everything. I like the fresher tasting, quicker version sauce to balance out the "meatiness" of the meatballs and I really like finishing the pasta in the tomato sauce. When I make my mom's sauce (will share one day) I either keep it vegetarian or make it a meat sauce by adding ground sirloin at the beginning and let it simmer all day with the rest of the ingredients. My grandmother's sauce was different from both my mom's and mine. I love the way the generations adapt but honor the family recipes.

My grandmother's, my mom's and my sauce recipes are all a little bit different...but equally delicious. Give my version a try and please let me know what you think in the comments section of this post. And, while you are at it, tell me how you make spaghetti & meatballs?

Spaghetti & Meatballs
(serves 4- 6)

1 recipe meatballs (recipe follows)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 26.4 oz box chopped Pomi tomatoes
2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 lb spaghetti or perciatelli pasta
sea salt
Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated or shredded, for topping pasta

For the sauce
Use the skillet from making the meatballs...You want all the flavor from the oil and bits of meat. Add the additional tbsp of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, saute for an additional minute (do not let garlic brown). Add the tomatoes, parsley, wine, pinch of salt and cooked meatballs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with small handful of salt. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than package directs. Drain the pasta and add to the cooked sauce. Stir in and cook an additional minute. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately with plenty of parmigiano-reggiano for topping the pasta.

For the Meatballs
(makes 28)

1 lb ground chuck
3/4 lb Italian sausage (I use hot but you can use mild if you prefer a less spicy meatball) casings removed
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients to large bowl and, using your hands, mix just until incorporated. Do not over mix. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to create 28 meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll lightly between your hands to form the balls.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the meatballs and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Turn and cook an additional 5 minutes. If you are making the Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe stop cooking at this point. If you want the meatballs without sauce, place the browned meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in 375 degree preheated oven for 15- 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees when pierced with a meat thermometer. (do not clean the skillet if you are making the red sauce!)

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Other pasta dishes you may enjoy:
Visit the Recipe Index page for the full list of pasta recipes

It is "Clean Out the Pantry Night" week at Food Network's Sensational Sides roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite pantry recipe? Feel free to share in the comments section or link to your blog if you have one. Recipes will be posted at noon on Thursday.

Here is the full schedule for #SensationalSides:
3: Clean out the pantry night
10: Kid-Friendly
17: Easy Easter Side
24: Something mashed

1: Salad (Lettuces)
8: Cheesy
15: No-cook

Feed Me Phoebe: Artichoke Hummus
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Red or Green: Sea Bass with Spicy Asian Ginger Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad
The Heritage Cook: Chile Tortilla Soup
Cooking With Elise: Glorious Greek Salad Dressing
Devour: Clean Out the Pantry Night
Weelicious: Greek Nachos
Virtually Homemade: Garlic Rosemary Pizza Crust Bites
Domesticate Me: Fiesta Baked Eggs with Farro and Black Beans
Taste With The Eyes: Mom's Vintage Potato Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Rice and Beans Casserole
The Sensitive Epicure: Salmon and Brown Rice Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pasta with Crunchy Roasted Black Beans
FN Dish: Pantry Clean-Out Sides

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.