Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spaghetti and Meatballs

 Spaghetti and Meatballs = Comfort Food.  When I came to the United States as a preschooler, I was introduced to this dish for the first time.  I fell in love with it then and have never lost my love for it.  Now I'm enjoying watching my kid's love for it grow.   It doesn't matter how bad the day is.... I can't feel too sad if you put this plate of food in front of me.   Of course I have changed my traditional spaghetti and meatballs for a more healthier option.  I made chicken and pork meatballs (you can also swap it out for turkey) and changed the traditional semolina pasta for whole grain pasta.  My kids can't tell the difference.  All they see are those gorgeous meatballs and pasta covered in tomato sauce.  When "spazketti" is for dinner....they can't run to the table fast enough.

 The Meatballs
To make the meatballs you will need:
2lbs of lean ground meat.  I used chicken and pork.
1 egg
1 small handful of minced parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp granulated garlic (or 2-3 cloves grated)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 slices of bread soaked in about 1/4 cup of milk*
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix well and form into meatballs.  Do not overwork the meatballs when you shape them so they stay tender.

I made golf size meatballs.  I like the dramatic size of these meatballs and they don't get lost in the sauce.  You can make them any size you like.

*Note:  you can use bread crumbs if you like to bind the meatballs.  But I prefer soaking a few slices of bread in milk until they soften and you can "mush" with your fingers.  This gives the meatball a very tender texture.
 Fry the meatballs on med-high heat with about 2 Tbs of oil.  You may have to do it in two batches.  After the meatballs brown on all sides transfer to a plate.  You don't have to cook the meatballs fully, they will finish cooking in the sauce.

 In the oil left in the pan from frying the meatballs add the ingredients for the sauce.
The Sauce
1 medium onion diced (red or white onion)
4-5 cloves of garlic grated or minced well
red chili flakes to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 (28oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
sugar to taste
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbs butter or margarine
 Now add the browned meatballs to the sauce.  Note:  Add the drippings from the dish that the meatballs sat in as well.... that's all great flavor.  Now cook sauce for 20-30 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.   Then just before serving add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce.
The Pasta
Cook the pasta until al dente (follow package instructions). I used 100% whole grain pasta.   Then drain add 1/2 the sauce to the pasta and 1 heaping Tbs of butter.  Toss together.  Serve meatballs and sauce on top of pasta at the table.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

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  1. invite me for dinner already! I like that you used a combination of chicken and pork.

  2. Oh wow! My kids would go bonkers for this. Great recipe! Hope you have a great weekend!


  3. Classic comfort food, really love spaghetti and meatballs! Great post!

  4. Wow Ramona, great recipe! This is exactly how my mom makes her meatballs, and they're the best meatballs ever! I can definitely see the difference in your pics lately, too. Awesome! Thanks for your comments. Yes, looking back on the old stuff is crappy sometimes, but I guess it just shows all our growth, right? My pics are always shot outside underneath a canopy-type thing. I literally have NO idea what I'm doing w/my SLR (hehe) but I found way to fake it =D

  5. Meatballs... your favorite! Looks very good. Love the recipe!

  6. Haha! Spazketti! My parents and I always call it that when we have it ;-)

  7. spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite comfort food! looks so yummy!

  8. The cartoons which look delicious do not hold a candle to your creation my friend :D


  9. This is my comfort meal!! So good!

    And you got a new camera, didn't you? The pics are looking great!

  10. There is nothing so beautiful and comforting as a home cooked classic! This is a perfect perfect example of that! (and makes me think of one of my favorite Disney films :D)! Happy weekend! HUGS!

  11. Oh yeh - genuine comfort food! A great dish for a cool evening. Hope you're having a great weekend! Hugs - MJ

  12. I promised Gabbi I was going to make spaghetti for her this weekend, thanks for the reminder.

  13. Meatballs are my favorite. I always like seeing what other people put in theirs. Paprika is new to me. I will have to add that kick next time.

  14. Yum! Your meatballs are big and looks so delicious! I was going to make it last week but couldn't make it. You inspired me to make it maybe this week! I always love meatballs and great lunch for the kids next day... :)

  15. This is total comfort food for me. One of my fave things in the world.

  16. Can you substitute whole wheat bread or the bread that has the seeds in it for the bread crumbs? Thanks!

    1. Yes.... whole wheat bread will work well. :) Enjoy. :)

  17. You can't beat a classic. :) Spaghetti and meatballs is always a MAJOR win on my dinner table! Love how you switched up the meatballs for a little healthier option!

  18. OK, meatballs will be on the menu this week!!! You ALWAYS inspire me!!!

  19. YUM! Homemade meatballs are the best! I could eat this every week, to tell you the truth, especially when it's homemade we can change the taste slightly different every time we make. :)

  20. I like the chicken/pork combo. Beef seems to make a tougher meatball. Love your pictures!


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