I love spaghetti. I know, you probably think I love every food, but I really love spaghetti. Spaghetti with meatballs. There is just something so fun about it. Maybe, it is because I liked watching Lady and the Tramp when I was a little girl, and that famous scene when they fall in love happens at a little Italian place around a big plate of Spaghetti and meatballs.
Maybe its because that was a family dinner I remembered and enjoyed. I think it was one of my dad's favorite meals, and I have to say I liked it, too.
When I first got married, my husband preferred Prego over any spaghetti sauce. I made homemade sauce, and he still hinted that he like Prego better. Not roasted garlic or four cheese, just plain, old, Classic Prego sauce. I kind of left it alone. I would make meat sauce or whatever, and sometimes I added things to the sauce, like onions and garlic, or sun dried tomatoes, or olives, but there just wasn't any oomph. I wanted to 'maka spaghetti lika the Italians'. I wanted sauce that made me kiss my fingers and say, "Momma-mia!" It just wasn't working out for me.
Anyway, back to spaghetti. So, there was this recipe from a famous restaurant in New York (I think) and I decided to try it. We all loved it. I sometimes make the whole recipe, or if I don't have time for the meatballs I just make a meat sauce, but follow the same principles. I really love saucing the noodles ahead of time. It definitely makes a difference no matter what spaghetti sauce you use. And if you make this up, taste it and if its too bitter just add a hit of sugar. Not too much, though. And, of course, this isn't exactly how the recipe goes, and feel free to add what your family loves.
For the sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
2 24 oz cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil, chopped
In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Just before adding the meatballs, add the basil.
For the meatballs:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (homemade if you have it)
1 cup Parmesan Italian panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
optional: 2 sticks mozzarella string cheese, each cut into six pieces.
Combine all ingredients, except for sliced garlic, mozzarella cheese (if using) and olive oil, in a large bowl. Gently stir with a spoon. Pat meat into 12 large balls, placing mozzarella pieces in the center (if using). Pour olive oil into a large pan and add sliced garlic. Saute over medium-high heat until garlic begins to brown. Add meatballs. Saute first side for about 4 minutes, then rotate as though the meatball has six sides. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes before rotating.
When meatballs are done, place into simmering sauce.
For the spaghetti:
1 lb dried spaghetti noodles, broken in half
4 quarts salted water
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Cook spaghetti in salted water according to package directions, draining as soon as it is al dente. Return to pan and turn heat on low. Add two or three ladles of the pasta sauce, tossing to coat. Add parsley. Serve with more sauce and meatballs.
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My Blog List
My Favorite Reads
- Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
- Deceptively Delicious
- Giada's Kitchen New Italian Favorites
- Martha Stewart's Cooking School
- Martha Stewart's Hors D'Oeuvres Handbook
- The Art & Soul of Baking
- The Bon Appetit Cookbook
- The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics
- Williams-Sonoma Cooking at Home