Thursday, February 12, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Real Spaghetti and Meatballs

After my last cooking disaster it was good to see a recipe in Barefoot Bloggers this month for Spaghetti and Meatballs - a nice easy recipe that wouldn't be too easy to mess up.  The recipe actually looked pretty close to my standard spaghetti recipe.  I think the sauce is exactly the same except that my normal recipe does not use the red wine.

So does anyone else have trouble finding ground veal in supermarkets?  I do have some places I can find it but with the kid I don't always want to go running around for ingredients.  None of my standard supermarkets carry it.  I think I just need to stock up on some for the freezer since any of my meatball and meatloaf recipes call for this 1 lb ground beef to 1/2 lb ground pork to 1/2 lb ground veal.  Well I didn't manage to buy any before I made the recipe so I just used extra ground beef.  I don't think it makes a lot of difference - I think the ground veal just makes the meat a little more tender.

The recipe went off without a hitch and was delicious.  I haven't decided if I like this version better than my normal recipe without the wine - I think I would need to taste them next to each other.  I think the non-wine recipe has a "fresher" taste and the wine version is a little deeper.  Both good in their own way.  

The meatballs were very tasty.  I didn't have any seasoned bread crumbs so I just added a little oregano and thyme for seasoning.  My only complaint is that I don't think the recipe made the proper ratio of meatballs to sauce.  I got thirteen good size meatballs and probably only enough sauce for 4-5 servings of spaghetti.  That is OK though - I think I will just put together a nice meatball hoagie for lunch tomorrow.

Thanks to Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake for this recipe.    I think I might need to try out her recipe for Huli-Huli chicken - it looks mighty good in her picture.

Real Meatballs and Spaghetti
Serves 6


For the meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound 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
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For serving:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
  2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.
  3. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  4. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.


Anonymous said...

We usually make our sauce with white wine instead of red and I think I prefer the white. It keeps the taste of the tomatoes fresh. We made chopped meatball sandwiches last night with some provalone... and my goodness was it great! Enjoy lunch!


Suzie said...

We wound up with about double the number of meatballs as well. Hope you enjoyed the leftovers.

Anonymous said...

We liked this a lot, too. I was running short on time, so I only made half the meat into meatballs and that was perfect for the amount of sauce.