My disclaimer: I did not make these today. Nor did I make them this week. I made these sometime last year, I suspect right around this time….
I like to think of myself as a meatball enthusiast, in concept. If there was one dish that I think about more than any other, one that makes me get all warm and fuzzy at the mere mention, and yes, possibly one that I would choose as my last meal, it would be spaghetti and meatballs. I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, she must eat a lot of meatballs.” But the truth is that I almost never eat them. Hence this post. It’s the dish I always crave, yet never take the time to make. So here’s to cravings, may someone (John — are you reading this? hint, hint…) come along and fulfill them all. Well, except for the bad ones. You know what I mean.
These meatballs were a discovery by Molly Wizenberg, of Orangette fame. She spent the day with the owner of Cafe Lago, a fantastic homespun Italian restaurant in Seattle, and learned all the tricks that make meatballs special. Knowing me this past year, I probably skipped all the important stuff, so you can read about it here. In the meantime, I mixed a bunch of yummy stuff in a big bowl.
And swirled it all around.
Then I shaped it all into adorable little balls.
And into red sauce it went! Seriously though, this may be a short and sweet post, but these meatballs are fantastic. And if you happen to be a leftovers junky like myself, you will be very pleased.
Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe:
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, tomatoes finely chopped
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled, halved through root end
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup whole milk
8 ounces ground beef (15% fat)
8 ounces ground pork
3 ounces finely ground Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine tomatoes with juice, butter, onions, and salt in large wide pot. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Discard the onions. Using immersion blender, process sauce briefly to break up any large pieces of tomato (texture should be even but not completely smooth). Season sauce with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in small bowl; stir until breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Place beef and pork in large bowl and break up into small chunks. Add 1 cup ground Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk eggs to blend in small bowl; whisk in garlic. Add to meat mixture.
- Using hands, squeeze milk from breadcrumbs, reserving milk. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture. Using hands, quickly and gently mix meat mixture just until all ingredients are evenly combined (do not overmix). Chill mixture at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Moisten hands with some of reserved milk from breadcrumbs, then roll meat mixture between palms into golf-ball-size balls, occasionally moistening hands with milk as needed and arranging meatballs in single layer in sauce in pot. Bring to simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.