Last weekend, my baby sister came down to Portland to visit me and Jonah (as well as some of her college friends who live here). On Saturday night she came over for dinner, and we whipped up a quick and delicious spaghetti and meatballs. The sauce recipe came from my Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and the meatball recipe came from Martha Stewart.
This pasta was actually way better than I anticipated it being for how easy it was. The sauce was really light and simple, which was a good balance for the meatballs which were a little creamier (because of the parmesan and milk and bread). It was filling and delicious and made for good leftovers. Enjoy!
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Tomato Sauce and Pasta
3 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomato
2 Tbl (or more) of course chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 lb spaghetti
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 slices white bread (Martha says to just tear the bread up into small pieces, which we did, but I think it would have been better if we’d thrown it into the food processor because then it would’ve been in smaller pieces)
1/4 cup milk
Tomato Sauce and Pasta
First, make the sauce. Heat 2 Tbl of oil and the garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the garlic until it’s golden, but not too brown, a few minutes. Add the tomatoes (including their juice, of course) and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, then add the basil, sugar and salt. We didn’t want our sauce too chunky, so before adding the basil, we blended it a little bit with a hand blender. While we were making the sauce, we also cooked the pasta alongside.
In a bowl, combine the beef and pork (using your hands). Add the garlic, cheese, parsley (we didn’t have any so we skipped that part), and eggs. Season with 1 1/4 tsp salt and some pepper. While you’re adding all these things, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes, then stir into the meat.
Now roll the meat into 1 1/2 inch balls. The recipe also said to refrigerate them for 1 hour, which probably would have helped them hold their shape, but whatever. We were hungry. So we just heated a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides (6-ish minutes) and then transfer them to the simmering sauce. This is where they’ll actually cook through. Be sure to check and make sure they’re done by just cutting a meatball open.
Drain your pasta a teensy bit before it’s fully cooked (if you haven’t already at this point) and put it back in the pot. Add the pasta sauce and meatballs to the pasta and cook a little bit longer in the sauce. According to Molly, this is what Anthony Bourdain says to do. I trust that guy. And serve!
Serve it up and garnish with some fresh basil and parmesan cheese!