Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs

Feel fortunate. I’m giving away my “secret” spaghetti recipe.
I make this for guests and for my family frequently.
Goes great with red wine – though you should get ready to hibernate afterwards!

Degree of Difficulty: Medium-Difficult
Time Frame: 45 mins-1 hour

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup parmesean cheese
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti.

Add olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and half of the chopped garlic. Cook until soft.

Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, make the meatballs. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining chopped garlic, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of the parmesean cheese, and salt and pepper. Combine everything with your hands and roll into walnut-sized balls. Drop into the simmering sauce.

While the meatballs are simmering, add the beef bouillon cubes and bay leaf to the boiling water. Once the cubes are dissolved, add the spaghetti. Cook to al dente (7-8 minutes).

Once the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, add a ladle-full of pasta water and butter to the sauce.

Drain the spaghetti, discarding the bay leaf.

Add pasta to serving plates, covered in meatballs and sauce. Top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesean cheese.

Suggestions and Comments:

  • This serves 4-6 people, one serving each – but I almost always double the sauce recipe, even for our family of 4. We love those meatballs – and they are great for leftovers in hoagies or just by themselves!
  • Make sure to discard that bay leaf. It has sharp edges and would really OUCH to bite into it!
  • This meal is very filling, but I have frequently served french or italian bread as a side. It’s great for sopping up the sauce!
  • If you want to simmer the meatballs and sauce all day, make sure that the meatballs don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Seriously, prepare to hibernate after this meal. It’s great for a weekend meal when it’s cold outside. Heck, it’s great anytime!

Source: Rachel Ray

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