Friday, May 28, 2010

classic spaghetti and meatballs

I have made this recipe at least five times and it never disappoints. If you love classic spaghetti and meatballs, then you have to make this. It is hearty and has great flavor. The meatballs have a perfect crust on them and it's one of those recipes that, while you're making it, you feel like you're really cooking. Does that make sense? It's not a "quick and easy" meal though it doesn't take hours and it's not really difficult to accomplish. This recipe feeds about 6 people but the leftovers are delicious!
3 slices thick Italian bread with crust (about 3x5 inches each)
Milk
1 pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons packed grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spaghetti, freshly cooked
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I recommend this one) or see recipe below

Place bread in a medium bowl and cover with milk. Let stand until bread is soft, about 10 minutes. Squeeze bread until almost dry and discard the milk. Add meat, cheese, garlic, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Mix until evenly incorporated. Using 1 rounded tablespoon for each, shape mixture into 24 meatballs.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and saute until brown and almost cooked through, turning often to hold shape (about 10 minutes). Pour pasta sauce over meatballs and gently stir. Let simmer an additional 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

Place pasta in a large bowl. Add the sauce with meatballs and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Pasta Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

In a medium or large skillet, heat olive oil and saute onion with garlic. Add mushrooms and saute until starting to soften. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, herbs and seasonings. Let simmer for at least 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

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