Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Favorite Spaghetti & Meatballs
Right after we purchased our first home (almost four years ago--time flies...), a sweet friend gave me this cookbook as a housewarming gift.
I've enjoyed cooking Giada's recipes over the years, and one has become our favorite spaghetti recipe. I've changed it a little from the original, but it is yummy. It also freezes well, which is nice, because you can make a double recipe and have lots to freeze.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (Note: I've yet to find a 32-ounce can, so I always use 28-ounce cans. Please, let me know if you find a brand that comes in a 32-ounce size!)
2 dried bay leaves
1/3 cup sugar
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes.
Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Saute about 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar, and simmer uncovered over low heat for about an hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Dip a small piece of bread into the sauce to taste for correct saltiness. (Okay, so maybe that's not a necessary step, but it sure is yummy!) Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste
If you use 28-ounce cans, this recipe will make about 7 cups of sauce; you will need 5 cups for the meatballs.
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups sauce
In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the salt and pepper.
Add the meat and gently stir to combine. Shape the meat mixture into bite-size balls.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side, about 3 minutes more.
Continue to cook until all the sides are brown. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes.
Serve over your favorite noodles and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
If you don't want to deal with browning meatballs on top of the stove, you can always bake them on a greased cookie sheet or in a baking pan, for 30 minutes in a 350F oven.