Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A few years back I took a trip to Europe. I loved everywhere I went, but one thing that was absolutely AMAZING was the food in Italy. I mean.... what? My palate was on overload! I went to these itsy-bitsy cafe's where 80% of the restaurant was outside and eat some delicious food. The menu's weren't big and at most places you had a choice of red or white house wine. It was so simplistic... yet soooo good. I have always been a firm believer that you can learn a lot about a culture through their food. So what did I learn? Italians have an intimate relationship with food. It is not so much about who can make the biggest BADDEST dish or use the most fancy ingredients. All the restaurants are making the same food and using their family recipes. It's not so much about being a chef or owning a restaurant, but instead its about a family tradition. Bringing EVERYONE together...through food!

I thought I would take a bit from my trip and use it as inspiration for my next blog. Spaghetti and Meatballs! Who doesn't love it!? Time to dig in... :-)

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten.

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
*** Sauce recipe to follow
Combine the ground meats, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cups of warm water. Form 2 inch balls out of the mixture. You should get between 14 and 16 meatballs.
 Pour equal amounts of the vegetable oil and olive oil in the pan. In batches, brown the meatballs on all sides. Be careful, you don't want to cook them all the way through. Do not overcrowd the pan. Each batch should take about 10 minutes to cook. Remove the meatballs and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Throw the excess oil out, but keep the pan dirty. This will keep the flavors in. YUM!
  • 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil (your preference)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti (I used a Merlot and it worked great, too!)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 In the same pan you used for the meatballs, begin to saute the onions. Once they turn translucent (about 7-10 minutes) add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the wine and begin scraping the pan to get all the bits on the bottom incorporated into the sauce. Continue to cook until almost all the liquid is gone (about 3 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Place all the meatballs back in the sauce.Reduce the heat and cover the pan. Let everything cook at a simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. During this time, boil your noodles according to the package instructions.
Garlic Bread:
  • 1 loaf of french bread
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 a stick of butter
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the parsley, garlic, and butter in a bowl. Slice the french bread in half. Spread the mixture on the french load. Place the two halves on top of each other and wrap in foil. Place foil package in the oven for 10 minutes. If you want more of a char on your bread (who doesn't) place the non fail wrapped haves in the oven on a baking sheet for a few minutes.
Combine everything on your plate and top off with some garlic bread and freshly grated parmesan.
Buon Appetito!

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments:

Post a Comment