weeknight gourmet

Comfort Food Classic: Spaghetti & Meatballs

We had our friends Pam & Tony up to the Berkshires this weekend.  We had a great fall weekend!

As fall arrives, I have been in the mood for some classic comfort food so I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs last night.  I’ve made this Barefoot Contessa recipe before and just love it.  The sauce is delicious and the meatballs have wonderful flavor and are very moist.  I think the keys to the meatball flavor are the combo of dried and fresh breadcrumbs, the pork – veal – beef mix, as well adding water to the mixture.

The only modification I would make to the recipe is to double the sauce.  Cooking the meatballs in the sauce flavors it beautifully and I would have loved to have more leftover sauce.

Tony — who is used to delicious Italian cooking — gave the meatballs his seal of approval so I think they were a hit!

Real Meatballs & Spaghetti
Barefoot Contessa Family Style

For the meatballs:

nocoupons

  • 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:

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  • 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

nocoupons

  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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