Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I love spaghetti and meatballs, yet I haven't really tried to find a 'go-to' recipe for a sauce and meatballs from scratch. I tend to rely on browning ground beef in skillet and then adding jarred sauce for a quick meal. BUT, with this recipe, the days of jarred sauce are pretty much over! This recipe is so easy, there's no reason for me NOT to make this!

The recipe comes from Annie's Eats, the always-trusty source of good recipes. As she mentions in her commentary, this makes a LOT of meatballs and sauce. Since I'm on this freezer-friendly food kick, this is perfect. I made the recipe exactly as written and it all came together very easily. I formed about 30 meatballs using a 1.5-inch cookie scoop. The recipe calls for cooking the meatballs in the sauce. Since the plan was to freeze most of the meatballs, I cooked only the portion we wanted to eat for the night. The rest I froze individually (loosely covered on a cookie sheet) before placing into a ziploc freezer bag. After Chris and I ate what we wanted of the sauce, I portioned the rest into containers that would hold 2-3 servings and froze.

We recently made spaghetti from the frozen sauce and meatballs. To cook the frozen, raw meatballs I heated the oven to 400, placed the frozen meatballs on a cookie sheet and baked until cooked through, then finished them off in the reheated sauce.

Give this recipe a try. It will not disappoint, and will leave plenty for you to enjoy at a later date!

Recipe on Annie's Eats: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Ingredients:
For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomato puree
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water (or more)
For the meatballs:
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. ground beef, pork and veal mixture (or 1 lb. ground sirloin)
For serving: Freshly cooked spaghetti, Shredded Parmesan cheese, Minced fresh basil

Directions:
  1. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion to the pot and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and sugar.
  3. Add water to thin the sauce out to your desired consistency (I would estimate that I add about 1/2 cup). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for at least 2 hours.
  4. To make the meatballs, in a medium mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs with the milk. Let the bread crumbs soak for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Form the mixture into meatballs
  6. Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce about 45 minutes before the sauce will be finished cooking. Cover and let simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 35-45 minutes.
  7. Transfer freshly cooked pasta to serving dishes. Top each serving with sauce and meatballs. Garnish with shredded Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.
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