Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I have a confession to make. I rarely make my own sauce. 95% of the time I will use Prego. It's just so darn good and convenient!

But this week, several things happened to detour me from my favorite kitchen convenience:

1. Mr. ShoeFanatic informed me that he was craving "real" spaghetti & meatballs (I'm not sure if that was a jab at me and Prego or not)
2. I needed to clean out my pantry and
3. I was feeling crafty

So I went for it.

1/2 c bread crumbs
1/2 c milk
2 lbs ground beef
1/4 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 egg
1 c parmesan cheese, grated
Seasoning (salt, pepper, oregano, basil)

Olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, cubed
1/2 jar sliced mushrooms*
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 sm can tomato paste
1 can stewed tomatoes*
1 lg can diced tomatoes*
Seasoning (salt, pepper, basil, oregano)

*I used what I had in my pantry because we all know that I hate running to the store. In a perfect world, I probably would have had 2 cans of stewed tomatoes and 8 oz of fresh sliced mushrooms. But my world is far from perfect.

To make the Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs with the milk. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.

Form the mixture into meatballs (I made 23 of them). Place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce about 15-20 minutes before the sauce will be finished cooking. Cover and let simmer. The longer they simmer, the better they will be!

To make the Sauce:
Coat the bottom of your pan in olive oil. Saute onions, bell peppers and mushrooms until soft and translucent; about 10 minutes. Throw in the garlic and let saute for a few more minutes.

Add tomato paste. Watch your heat; you don't want the paste to burn. Let the paste and veggies marry in your pot. This will put off an amazing aroma.

I should probably add that at this point I was supposed to deglaze with a splash of white wine. But I was concentrating on making perfect meatballs. So I forgot. Ever forget? Happened to me.

(Name that comedian.)

While the paste is marrying the veggies...put your stewed and diced tomatoes in the blender and puree. Pour this into the pot. Cover and let simmer for however long you like. But at least 30-45 minutes.

At some point you will taste it and it won't taste right and that's when you will toss in the rest of the seasonings. Give it a stir and keep simmering.

When everything is married and simmered and baked and you just can't stand smelling it anymore...

Serve over pasta with fresh grated parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Has anyone ever given spaghetti and meatballs a bad review? I think not. And I won't be the first. This was good. Tomatoey, garlicky, messy...all the things good spaghetti should be.

What it was not was great. And that's entirely my fault. For starters, I should have added 1/2 cup more breadcrumbs to the mixture but I didn't read the recipe correctly. They were still good but I think the extra breadcrumbs would have held them together just a tad bit better.

The sauce was a little boring. I'm not sure what I did wrong though. Honestly, I think it just needed to simmer longer but I was starving. Next time, I will make this on a weekend so I'm not so rushed.

Meatballs --Annie's Eats

No comments:

Post a Comment