Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


A classic dish that never gets old! 

As time-consuming as this dish can be, I still consider it an easy meal to make.  I think it’s because I tend to like meals you start early in the day and let cook so that by the time dinner rolls around you just serve it up.  This is one of those dishes.   Don’t let the time it takes to get this together deter you from trying it.  Honestly, most of the time involved is the meatballs and sauce cooking away on the stove rather than you slaving over putting everything together.

And the best part of this meal, aside from eating it, is that you can freeze the extra sauce and meatballs for another meal in the future, or do what I planned and make meatball subs later in the week with the leftovers.  When you break down the time involved into how many other meals  you can get out of this it becomes even more worthwhile to put the effort into making it.

I always start with the meatballs first so they have time to begin cooking while I’m preparing the sauce that they will eventually swim in.  

You will find many recipes where people fry up the meatballs in some olive oil in a pan and then add them to the sauce.  This was something I did for quite a while until I realized it was easier, and a lot less messy (not to mention less fattening) to bake the meatballs.  They lose none of the flavor and take a lot less time to prepare.  Not to mention you don’t end up with a layer of fat strewn across the top of your finished tomato sauce.

After I mix up the meatball mixture, I roll them into 1 1/2″ to 2″ balls and place them on a wire baking rack over a foil lined baking sheet.  It catches all the fat from the meatballs and allows them to brown evenly.  I get about 50 meatballs from this recipe and I place them close together on the baking rack.

Let’s start with the meatballs!

Meatballs:

Makes approximately 50 1 1/2″ – 2″ meatballs

  • 2  1/2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef (you can use 2 lbs. ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork which I sometimes do)
  • 2 Cups Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk (not skim)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil (*I use Light Tasting)
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder (or 1 small chopped onion)
  • 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and place your baking rack on top.  Set to the side.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients by hand.  Once well mixed, begin rolling up the meat to 1 1/2″ to 2″ size meatballs.  As you roll the meatballs, place them close together on the baking rack.  Once done, place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until browned on the outside. 

Remove from oven.  Place the number of meatballs you need in the sauce that, should be simmering away on the stove right now.  (Recipe to follow).  Allow the remaining meatballs to cool and them place them in some freezer bags and freeze for another meal.  I usually break my packages down to about 10 meatballs per package and freeze them.

*****************************************************************************

Making the tomato sauce is another snap!  The longest part of this process is the time it will be simmering away on the stove.  It’s well worth the effort when  you compare this to something from a jar.  Trust me on this!

Sometimes I like a chunky sauce, and sometimes I like a smooth sauce.  It really depends on what type of pasta the sauce is going on.  When I make a meat sauce like I am here, I like a smooth sauce.  To achieve that I usually blend half of the sauce in a blender with all the ingredients mixed in and then add the other half of the sauce (that I didn’t place in the blender) to the pot and cook it that way.  It creates the perfect sauce for my taste.  Not to mention it really gets all the flavors blended together!

Now, let’s make the sauce!

Simple Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 28 oz. Cans Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes in Juice
  • 1 Small Can Tomato Paste (I used Roasted Garlic flavor)
  • 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 6 – 8 Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 6 – 8 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil (I used Light Tasting)
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Few Dashes of Hot Sauce (optional)

In a blender, add one of the cans of crushed tomatoes with the one can of diced tomatoes and the juice.  Add in the garlic, parmesan cheese, black pepper, olive oil, parsley, basil and black pepper.  Mix until well blended and smooth. 

Pour the pureed mixture into a large pot.  If you have a Le Creuset, or similar type of pot, this is excellent for this sauce.  Any heavy bottomed pot will work well, but you definitely want a pot with some weight to it so you don’t burn the sauce on the bottom.  After you add the puree mixture, add the second 28 oz. can of Crushed Tomatoes and the tomato Paste. 

Turn stove to medium heat and bring to a slow boil.  Once this is achieved, turn it down to simmer and cover. 

When the meatballs are done, add as many as you need to the pot and stir well.  Cover and allow to simmer away, stirring occasionally for an hour.  Make sure to keep the heat on simmer and stir often enough to prevent scorching the bottom of the sauce.   After an hour, remove from the heat and set aside while you prepare your spaghetti.

I use 1 lb. of thin spaghetti, cooked to al dente in water you salted well.  Combine the sauce, spaghetti and meatballs, adding extra grated parmesan to the top. 

Enjoy!

 

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2 responses to “Spaghetti and Meatballs

  1. Souffle Bombay March 31, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    I popped over to your site and was greeted by that great picture of meatballs and spaghetti….NOW I want it for breakfast!!

    That gives me an idea!! I know what we are having tonight lol!

    -Colleen

  2. boredcook March 31, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Truth be told, I’ve been known to stick a fork in the leftover-right-out-of-the-fridge spaghetti from time to time. And yes, even for breakfast!

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