Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

So, I don't know about you, but I can't wait for summer so we can have homegrown tomatoes again!!! My mother-in-law has an amazing garden that produces more tomatoes than any garden I have ever seen. At the end of last tomato season I picked bags and bags of tomatoes and made a huge batch of the most delicious tomato sauce!

Well, just because I don't have fresh tomatoes for sauce doesn't mean I can't make my tomato sauce taste great! The following recipe makes A TON of meatballs and sauce. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. I make big batches and freeze half the meatballs. I am not going to lie, this is a bit time consuming and that is why I make a lot and freeze half.

For Meatballs:
1 lb hot Italian sausage, remove casing if necessary
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Parmesan cheese (fresh grated or green can)
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients together. You want all ingredients incorporated, but don't over mix, this will help to keep the meatballs nice and tender. You might need to add a little more parm cheese or bread crumbs in order to get the right consistency to make your meatballs. Roll meatballs into about 1 1/2 inch balls. Use a big pan (the one you are going to make your sauce in) and cover the bottom of pan with olive oil. Make sure pan is hot, add in some meatballs. Brown on one side and then turn over, making a crust all around the meatball. You will have to do this in shifts. Once the meatball is browned, put it to the side. Once all the meatballs are browned its time to make your sauce! At this point I put half the meatballs in the freezer to use for another meal :)

1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp of red pepper flakes(more or less, depending on how you like it)
1 cup (about) of red wine
3 14.5 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 cup basil, chopped
2 sprigs of oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste (or course!)

Add onion, celery and carrots to the pan you used to brown meatballs. Saute for about 2 minutes, add garlic and pepper flakes and saute another minute or so until veggies have a little color on them. Add in the wine while scraping the bottom of pan with wooden spoon to get up any little bits left from the meatballs. Next add in the tomatoes, then basil and oregano. Let it simmer on stove for about 30-40 minutes (or until it doesn't taste like canned tomatoes anymore). At this point, pull out oregano sprigs. Use a stick blender to puree some of the sauce. I like my sauce to have a little bit of texture so I just do a quick blend, the longer you do it the smoother your sauce. Now, put the meatballs back in the sauce and let them simmer in the sauce until they are finished cooking.

In our house we like to serve over angel hair pasta, but its up to you :)

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