Spaghetti and Meatballs

January 19, 2012

A classic- spaghetti & meatballs! Everybody usually has their own personal recipe that they love for this dish. Sometimes a family heirloom of types. Especially if they’re Italian.

I use this one most often and rely on it when I make spaghetti & meatballs for a crowd. It is straightforward and easy and delicious. Honestly, I don’t know if it is authentic… I’m not Italian. It is good though. And versatile, on many occasions I’ve made it with all ground turkey or all ground beef. It’s great both ways. Sometimes I even bake them. Just throw them on a sheet tray in a 350 degree oven for like 20 minutes then finish them in the sauce. Frying them is the way to do it for the best taste- they almost melt it your mouth when fried.

I always make the meatballs a lot smaller than what she calls for in the recipe so I end up with about double the number she suggests. I just don’t like my meatballs that huge. Plus they are harder to keep together when frying if they are too big. Also, I always double the sauce recipe. I like my meatballs to swim. With the amount in the recipe they are just well coated. Personal preference I suppose.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • For Meatballs:
  • ½ pound ground veal
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • ¼ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
  • For Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ 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
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For Serving:
  • 1½ pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and ¾ 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 ¼-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.
You can use whatever 2 lb of meat you'd like. I've used all beef and all turkey with great results. Or you can even use the "meatloaf mix" in your meat section.

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