Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

 I rarely post recipes, even though I make at least two meals a day from scratch, every single day. Honestly, the main reason that I rarely posted recipes in the past is that my last apartment had a dark and depressing kitchen, reminiscent of a dungeon. 
Which means that every picture I took of food looked awful.
But my new kitchen is full of light and beauty and happiness. So I've been taking pictures of our food, and including them in our Photo-A-Day every week, and I've gotten lots of questions about what we eat.

So here is a recipe for you. This is one of our most time-consuming meals, to be honest, but it's also one of the most delicious and rewarding.

If you are making your own marinara, make it before you start the meatballs.
I usually make my own sauce, but you can definitely use a jar of spaghetti sauce. And if you add a few freshly sliced tomatoes, onions, and herbs - it tastes homemade!
Here's {the recipe} that I used in these pictures, although I halved it and I also blended up about 2 cups of the sauce in the food processor after it cooked, to help make it smoother.

These meatballs are really forgiving, you can add inexact measurements of whatever you have on hand. Don't have parsley? Add some basil! You hate ground beef, and only eat white meat? Ground chicken it is!

Mix in a bowl (using your hands):

1.5 - 2lbs of ground beef
Half a bunch of chopped parsley
1/2 cup parmesan (a handful)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (a handful)
1 egg
3-4 cloves diced garlic
1/4 of an onion, diced itty-bitty (I usually just use a bit of the onion that I diced up for the sauce, and don't cut up a second one, although - I think everyone in the world who is not crazy can agree - the more onions the better.)
1 tbls of "fancy mustard" (a squirt of dijon or grainy mustard or whatever you have on hand)
salt & pepper to taste
a pinch each of paprika and chili powder, maybe some red pepper flakes...

 Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs (or smaller - depending on your preference) - you should end up with 15-20 meatballs.
You can refrigerate or freeze the meatballs at the this point if you want to eat them at a later date.
Also, freezing them for 5-10 minutes before browning helps them stay together.

When you're ready to use the meatballs:
Preheat your oven to 350 F
Brown meatballs in a pan over medium heat - with a bit of olive oil, but don't bother cooking them thoroughly.

Pour 1/2 cup or so of marinara into a baking dish that all your meatballs will fit into. Place your meatballs on top, then cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 40min - 1hr, until the meat is cooked through, and serve over your favorite pasta.

Sorry there are no pictures of the process, my hands were covered in meat, and my personal photographer was nowhere to be found! :)
Good luck!
Please leave me a comment if you make the recipe, and let me know how it turns out.

And in case you're wondering: This is the exact recipe that I use if I'm making hamburgers, too. I just pat the meatballs into patties and grill them instead!

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Anonymous said...

That looks DIVINE!

faeriequeene said...

Yay! Thanks for posting the recipe. I've been hankering for meatballs since your pictures last week :) I know what I'm making this weekend now.

Elizabeth said...

I love recipes like this. All natural wholesome ingredients without lots of processed junk. It make adapting this to be gluten free so much easier.

The Lummus Family said...

Delicious! My husband even said it's one of his new favorites. Thanks for the recipe! :)