A favorite bowl of comfort food to me is spaghetti; with anything, butter, olive oil-garlic, meatballs or red tomatoes sauce. Spaghetti and Meatballs was an adapted culinary taste that grew on me overtime. It began when I moved to this country, in my early years of adulthood, born out necessity and in time became one of my favorite budget meals. Who doesn’t have memories of a bowl of spaghetti with meatballs in a red tomato sauce or deliciously buttered? Really almost everyone; it is a kids favorite meal. In our household eating pasta is a tradition, a tradition culturally enjoyed by my Italian American husband. So today we are making Spaghetti with Meatballs a classic Italian American dish which in my house is normally eaten alone, with bread or a side of salad.
The good thing about spaghetti and meatballs is that everybody likes it. This is an everyday dish that is budget friendly, and super easy to make a home any day of the week. It is also a hosting friendly dish that goes beyond any food cultures or idiosyncrasy.
Anyone can cook pasta. The thing to remember is to properly cook the pasta, in this case the spaghetti; the pasta should have a firm bite or texture (springy texture). I come from a culture where pasta cooked al dente or with any texture at all is considered undercook and not edible so I do understand if some of you will contradict me on my later acquired taste. Pay attention to the tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes are better, but can tomatoes are equally fine as well. The sauce should be light but flavorful. With the meatballs I opted to bake them in the oven. Anyway, no fuss or problems with this dish – – Eat your spaghettis as you like them; after all we all have our preferences.
Spaghetti with meatballs it is then; it’s a simple but filling meal with a delicious and familiar flavor capable of transporting the most forgettable individuals to unforgettable delectable moments of their life.
Serve with a side of green salad, bread and an extra drop or two of olive oil or simply with Pecorino or Parmesan cheese. And yet do not forget the wine. A su salud!
- For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- Kosher salt and black ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce cans tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup white or red wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or thyme
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage, without the case
- 1 medium onion or shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs or panko
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- Spaghetti and garnishing:
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Fresh basil leaves
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Olive oil
For the sauce:
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until everything is tender but not browned. Season with salt and black pepper and add the tomato paste. Add the white wine, diced tomatoes, oregano or thyme, basil, parsley and bay leaf. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook the sauce for about ½ hour. Add baking soda and cook for 30 minutes more. Adjust salt if necessary.
For the meatballs:
Diced the onions and minced the garlic. Reserve.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the sausage. Incorporate the onions, garlic, panko, Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs and mix well. Form the meatballs and bake in a greased baking sheet for 30 minutes. Place the meatballs into the sauce and cook them on the sauce for 30 more minutes.
For the spaghetti:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti al dente, according to the package directions. Add the spaghetti strait from its cooking pan to the meatballs pan and mix well. Turn the pot off and drizzle with some extra olive oil. Serve warm with chopped basil and Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
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