Thursday, October 8, 2015

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Good morning, everyone!  We have spaghetti a lot in this house, as its one of the few things we can get our daughter to eat with us, without a fight....or bribery.  She loves everything about spaghetti, and even has the recipe memorized, so...yeah, we have it a lot in our house.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband was on a business trip to Germany and France for 10 days, so, I asked our daughter what she wanted to make for daddy when he got home, she instantly said, "Spaghetti!!"
I thought I'd shake things up, ever so slightly, and make up some spaghetti and meatballs!  It's been a long time since I made meatballs, and our daughter wasn't so sure of them at first...she still isn't sure of them.  She asks us to, "smash them into the sauce" for her; I'll take it as a win.  
Here's your grocery list for this one:
1 1/2 C Panko bread crumbs
Enough milk to cover the Panko - roughly 3/4 C
3 eggs
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/4 C olive oil
1 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
1 Tbs. dried marjoram 
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Kosher salt

fresh pasta or boxed pasta
Pasta sauce of choice

Or, if you want to use my pasta sauce:
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
32 oz. tomato sauce
2-3 rinds of Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs each dried parsley, oregano, and basil 
1-2 tsp Kosher salt, to taste

I love watching, "The Chew", and watch it every day!  The other day Mario did a recipe for meatballs (you can find his recipe here), so that was just perfect timing for when my daughter pipped up with wanting to make spaghetti, I knew we were going to be making this!  
To start off with, soak the breadcrumbs in a small/medium bowl, and set aside for a moment.  This will keep your meatballs very moist and tender, and really not something I'd recommend skipping.

After setting the soaking breadcrumbs aside, while you focus on getting everything else together.  So, go on and mince the garlic and beat up the eggs.

Add the Parmesan cheese and garlic to the eggs; squeeze the milk out of the breadcrumbs and discard the used milk.  

I just squeeze it out one small handful at a time, nothing special or crazy here!  Add in the parsley,  marjoram, kosher salt, and olive oil. 

Add in the ground meats, and just mix all of this together until it has barely come together.  You don't want this to be over mixed, or else you'll end up with tough meatballs.

Start forming your meatballs; you want them to be larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball.  You can easily do this the night before, the morning of, or days before and put them into the freezer and keep them for a super quick and easy meal!  I made these the morning of, formed them, and popped them into the fridge until the evening.

If you want to make your own pasta sauce, start off with mincing up the garlic, and gently sauteing it in the olive oil over medium heat.

Once your garlic has gently sauteed for about 30 seconds, pour in the tomato sauce and stock of choice.  Add in the Parmesan cheese rinds, and add in the herbs and salt; let this simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours.  

Once your sauce has simmered for a bit, add in the meatballs, one ball at a time, and let them simmer gently for 1-2 hours.  I like to set them in, let them cook for at least 30 minutes before gently stirring for the first time.

After 1-2 hours, serve it up!  These are so tender, and's hard to go wrong with these!