Nothing gets more comforting than spaghetti and meatballs. If you have read my Simmer Sauce Solutions article, you will know that I have good pasta sauce in my pantry all the time, making it extremely easy to pull together this meal. During this pandemic, as we all spend Easter away from our families, a simple, classic meal like this is just what the soul needs. I did not grow up with spaghetti and meatballs, I had Murgh Kofta. However, my husband did and he associates this meal with a lot of wonderful childhood memories. Therefore, the pressure was on to remake this meal to his liking–after all, you don’t want to mess with food memories. So this recipe is now our family’s version of spaghetti and meatballs; the husband approved and we had hearty Easter dinner! So if you are like me and did not grow up with this classic Italian-American meal, I hope you try it. If you like it, please drop a comment below!
1 pound 80/20 beef (you need the fat for flavor)
1 small onion
2 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of dried parsley
4 Tbsp of breadcrumbs
1, 24oz jar of Victoria’s Tomato Basil sauce
1/2 box of pasta or however much you need to cook for your family.
Preheat oven to 375F and line a metal baking dish with parchment paper
In a food processor, chop onion and minced garlic together, The smaller the chop, the better, it will make smooth, round meatballs.
In a bowl, add the minced onion and garlic, beef, egg, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and breadcrumbs.
With your hands (yes, your hands!! you have to use your fingers to mix), start mixing all the ingredients together, without folding the in the beef–it is in the bowl, but just work around it. Once all the other ingredients are mixed, start folding in the beef. It is critical not to overmix the meatball mixture, nobody wants dense meatballs that tough like hockey pucks.
Roll meatballs into 1-inch rounds and place them on a baking sheet. I got approximately 12 meatballs from this recipe.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, till the meatballs are brown and cooked through. Half-way through the baking process, I remove most of the oil that sweats out from the meatballs–you don’t want to start a grease fire in your oven.
Remove meatballs from the cookie sheet and drain and cool on a paper-towel lined plate. At this point, you can cool the meatballs completely and freeze them or you could proceed to bathe them in the tomato sauce.
Start cooking the pasta according to package directions.
In a separate pot, add the meatballs and cover them with jarred tomato sauce, just enough to cover all the meatballs. I like to add some dried basil and red pepper flakes to “wake-up” the jarred sauce, but that is entirely optional. This brand is really good to begin with!
Reserve, half cup of the startchy cooking water, and drain the pasta, 2 minutes shy of the cook time. Return the drained pasta to the pot, add the pasta water and enough of the jarred sauce to coat the pasta. Cook the pasta in the liquid for another two minutes till most of the liquid has evaporated and pasta is completely cooked through.
Plate the pasta with meatballs and extra sauce and serve piping hot. A garnish of basil would be great, but during this pandemic, I am working with what in the fridge and pantry.