Spaghetti & Meatballs

BASIC MEATBALLS

  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)
  • 3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 can beef broth (1/2 cup for the meatballs and the rest for baking)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch nutmeg

 

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Stir together 1/2 cup beef broth and all other ingredients, except the ground beef, in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the ground beef and mix together thoroughly using a fork. Using a fork prevents overmixing and compacting which can toughen meatballs.

4. Using a melon ball scoop or 2 spoons, shape the meat mixture into balls (about 2" in diameter or 1 1/2 oz each). Coat a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Space the meatballs on the pan so they're not touching or crowded together.

5. Cover bottom of pan with the remaining 1 cup of beef broth. Bake for 25 minutes or until the meatballs are just cooked through. Reserve pan juice for sauce.

 

TOMATO SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) Italian tomatoes, diced with garlic, oregano and basil, drained
  • 2 cans, (28oz each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup reserved meatball pan drippings
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb. cooked pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into strips (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated - for garnish

 

1. Saute onions in olive oil over med-high heat in a large pan until translucent, about 4 minutes.

2 Stir in garlic. Cook just until you smell it, about 30 seconds.

3. Add all diced and crushed tomato sauces, pan drippings, parsley, sugar, pepper flakes, and salt. Simmer 15 minutes.

4. Start boiling the water for the pasta.

5. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes to heat through.

6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain.

7. Stir in the cooked pasta and toss well to coat. Before serving, add the fresh basil strips. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.