I don't know if it's been the nausea, or the rollercoaster of events (and subsequent need for comfort food), but this is all that's sounding good to me this week:
That's right, folks: good ol' spaghetti and meatballs. I've had it for dinner three times this week. Not ziti, not penne, not meat SAUCE, but spaghetti and meatballs. From three different restaurants. There's just something so soothing about the combination. I've always loved pasta, so it's not surprising that in a time of physical and emotional distress that I've been coming back to it again and again, but it's still kind of cracking me up. I mean, I went to a STEAK restaurant on Mother's Day, and ordered SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS. What am I, twelve?
I also ordered a Shirley Temple, but that's beside the point.
I actually make pretty killer meatballs. It's been sort of a mission to perfect my technique so that they come out just the way I like them -- big, soft, moist (I really hate that word, but I can't think of another apt descriptor) and resplendent with bread crumbs and parmesan. I'll post my recipe in the comments, and perhaps will gather up the energy to make up a batch this weekend.
Oh, who am I kidding? As much as I love the meatballs, I think at this point a nap still wins.
Resplendent Meatballs (with bonus Marinara sauce recipe)
Makes 15-20 meatballs and a lot of sauce
Since my meatball technique doesn't really work without a big pot of bubbling sauce, I'll include that as well. The sauce should already be cooking when you make the balls, so here's that first:
2-3 25 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (Italian brands are usually better -- the San Marzano tomatoes are killer)
1 25 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2-3 cloves fresh minced garlic (more if that's your thing)
2 T EVOO
Dried basil, oregano, parsley to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook until just slightly starting to brown (do not overcook). Add all cans of tomatoes, stir. Add spices to taste, stir. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently so as not to burn the bottom of the sauce (lest it taste like someone ashed a cigarette in your sauce -- trust me, I've been there). Once sauce starts to bubble, turn heat down until just barely simmering.
Now for the meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef (fat content up to you -- I usually do leaner rather than fattier)
2 large eggs
1 cup grated parm or romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
Bread crumbs (I usually need a cup or so, but amount varies)
Dried parsley to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T EVOO
Splash red wine
Mix all ingredients (with your hands, of course) except bread crumbs together in a bowl. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture hangs together but is no longer "wet" -- this sometimes takes a couple of extra adds of bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Form meatballs (whatever size you like), and drop into pan. This is all a matter of taste, but I usually just BARELY sear the meatballs (honestly, they touch the pan for about a minute), and then drop them into the bubbling sauce to cook fully. Other people like a bit more crust on their meatballs, so just leave them in a bit longer if this is the case.
Once all meatballs are in the sauce, remove pan from heat and deglaze with a splash of red wine. Pour wine into sauce/meatballs -- it adds this absolutely delicious layer of flavor.
Turn heat down to low. Simmer sauce and meatballs until meatballs are cooked (30 minutes or so). Serve with your favorite pasta! This all freezes really well.
YUM! I had spaghetti and turkey meat sauce this week as I was craving it too. We are kindred spirits!
Thanks for the delicious recipe! I cannot wait to make it. :) I hope your weekend is nice, warm and relaxing... still thinking of you.
YAY! Thanks for the recipe - I love meatballs. I will definitely make them, but since I haven't cooked a real dinner in a awhile, not sure when ;) Mmmm - with a loaf of crsuty bread - sounds so good right now!
I totally had a shirley temple last week and it was sooooooo good!
Oh, you rock!
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