Spaghetti and Meatballs
Everyone has their own recipe, there are a million ways to make it and everyone is great (almost). The worst I ever had was when a Japanese friend made it. She used ketchup and katsu dipping sauce for the spaghetti sauce…being a nice guy I ate it but later on I showed her my version.
Pretty simple: Chop up one large onion to a fine dice, use about 3 pounds lean ground beef, some grated Romano cheese, bread crumbs (you can buy the pre-made ones, my mother would dry bread in the oven and crush it up.), some garlic powder, salt and pepper, two eggs. Oregano if the bread crumbs aren’t seasoned. Some fresh basil leaves.
Mix the onions and beef, add spices, add the eggs and mix by hand thoroughly. Once the mixture is fully integrated start making the meatballs. The meatballs should be about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Put the mixture in your hand and press it to make sure there are no air pockets. Form into a ball by rolling gently between your hands. Set aside and repeat until you have all the meatballs made.
Turn the oven on to 325.
Heat up a deep, large diameter pot. I use one that is 10″ diameter by about 9″ deep. Add Canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot. Put meatballs in around the perimeter of the pot, maybe one in the middle. Brown the outside of the meatballs, turning them with a pair of tablespoons. When they are brown on all sides take them out and place in a flat roasting/baking pan. Repeat until all are browned.
Once the meatballs are browned and in the pan, lay a basil leaf on top of each one then cover the roasting pan with tin foil. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes.
The Sauce (Gravy)
I use the same pot that was just used to brown the meatballs.
You will need one large onion chopped, one or two green or red bell peppers cut into 1/2″ squares, red wine, two cans of diced tomatoes, 6 Roma tomatoes cut into quarters, oregano, six garlic cloves crushed and chopped fine and fresh basil leaves. Salt and Pepper to taste.
Add a little Olive Oil to the pan and throw in onions, add a bit of salt to help sweat the onions. Stir in bell peppers. After a few minutes add garlic. Pour in about 1/2 cup of red wine to deglaze and reduce down. Add oregano. I use about one tablespoon but you can use more or less to taste. Once the wine is reduced by about 2/3 add the diced tomatoes. Stir and reduce heat to a simmer. Lay Roma tomatoes on top and fold into sauce. Cover and let simmer, stirring every 10 minutes or so. After 30 minutes add the fresh basil. You can use whole leaves or chop them up.
Take the meatballs out of the oven and transfer them to the sauce. Do not just pour them in, there will be grease in the bottom of the pan that you don’t want to put in your sauce. Fold in and continue the simmer.
This is where you will start your pasta. I like a thicker semolina spaghetti but you can use anything you like. Just use a pot that will have plenty of room for the pasta to swim. I use about one teaspoon of sea salt per gallon of water. Cook the pasta to taste, drain and put in a serving bowl. Fold in about 1/2 cup of sauce.
Serve per person or family style with meatballs and sauce on the side.
Goes great with a nice salad, French bread and a good vegetable dish.