5 Star Recipe When 4 Stars Just Aren't Enough
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Spaghetti and Meatballs

    by Jeffrey William Cameron

    This meal is a stand bye for me when I don’t know what I am going to make. You can prepare this meal in about 1 hour or if you have the time, you can let the sauce simmer for several hours. I can tell you the sauce is greatly enhanced when you let it simmer for a couple hours. But in a pinch, one hour will work.

    Last night I did not know what I was going to make and I was in the mood for something with tomatoes. As you know the best tomatoes you can get, outside of your own garden are canned tomatoes; they put the best of the best in the can not on the product isle. Go figure. Besides, with canned tomatoes you don’t have to do the peeling part (boil for 10-15 seconds then peel).

    So in this recipe I am using a can of tomato sauce and a can of whole tomatoes for the base. I add in sautéed garlic and shallots, then add in chopped basil, oregano, and Italian parsley.

    Note: to make your life easy when you chop up the garlic, shallots, basil, oregano, and parsley, divide it into two, one part for the sauce and the other part for the meatballs.

    I have done this recipe so many times, I don’t really have measurements and over time you will develop a flavor of your own with a little more this and a little less that. However, I will do my best to give you some measurements as a starter. And I will give you the order in which I prepare the meal so it all turns out at the same time.

    Ingredients

    Meatballs
    1 ½ lbs ground beef
    2 cloves finely diced garlic
    1 med size shallot diced fine
    1 tablespoon basil, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon oregano, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped fine

    Sauce
    1 – 28 oz can tomato sauce
    1 – 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
    2 cloves finely diced garlic Рand saut̩ed
    1 med size shallot diced fine  – and sautéed
    1 tablespoon basil, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon oregano, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped fine

    Pasta
    Spaghetti – Make enough for your guests. The sauce will serve 4-6.

    Directions

    In a stockpot, pour in the can of tomato sauce. Seed the whole canned tomatoes over running cold water by holding and using your thumb to pierce the tomato. You want to wash out all the seeds.

    Place the rinsed whole (not so whole now) tomatoes on your cutting board and coarse slice. You want the pieces big, but not whole. They will cook down. Put the tomatoes in the stockpot along with the tomato sauce. Put the burner on medium. We will turn it down in a few minutes.

    Cut up your shallots and garlic. Remember to divide them into two (one for sauce one for meatballs). Heat a sauté pan with olive oil over medium heat. Put the shallots in and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté another minute. You want the shallots to start turning brown by not burnt up. Now pour the ingredients from the in the sauté pan right into your stockpot (tomato sauce). If there was little or no olive oil left, pour a little olive oil into the tomato sauce.

    Your tomato sauce may now begin to boil. Turn this down to low and put a lid on it part way (if you are going to serve within an hour, put the heat to medium-low). Don’t cover the stockpot completely. This will let some moisture out making the sauce thicker and will help prevent splatters all over your stove.

    Now chop up your herbs (basil, oregano, and parsley). Remember to divide into two.

    Note: When I make this receipt I put more basil in then oregano because I like the sweetness of the basil.

    Now put one part of the herbs into the sauce and gently stir. Put the lid back on part way. Be sure to stir from time-to-time.

    Put a pot of water on the stove on high to boil. While the water is heating up, you will be working on your meatballs. If the water boils before you are finished rolling the meatballs, turn down the water to medium.

    Take you ground beef and put it in a bowl. Put the raw garlic, raw shallots, and herbs (oregano, parsley, and basil) into the bowl. Now mix thoroughly by using your hand. Open your hand wide, put over the beef, and then squeeze by making a fist. The mixture will squirt between your fingers. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat several times.

    Now form your meatballs. I recommend about a tablespoon or about 1 inch think. Not any smaller. About half way through rolling the meatballs, put a pan on the stove on medium low with some olive oil (this is where we will cook the meatballs).

    Once you roll the meatballs, put them in the pan, turn the heat up to medium, and cover. Immediately put your pasta in the hot water and time for about 9-10 minutes. You may have to turn the heat up on your water to boil again. After 5 minutes, turn your meatballs with tongs.

    When the meatballs are finished cooking, transfer them to a plate with a paper towel to drain. Your pasta should be finished strain and put back into the same pot, add butter and salt and stir. Turn off the heat to the sauce.

    You are now ready to assemble. What I do is place the pasta on the plate first, add a few meatballs, then take a ladle and pour the sauce over the top.

    Note: You may be tempted to add some cheese – STOP RIGHT THERE! While adding Parmesan cheese may taste good, it takes away from the herb flavoring in my opinion and it is just my opinion. I want people to taste the herbs, the shallots and the garlic. So choose wisely – to cheese or not to cheese.

    Published on February 17, 2009 · Filed under: Mains; Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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