Monday, February 23, 2015

Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Last month I went to Lake Tahoe to visit a friend of mine who is lucky enough to call that area home. After a fun day of skiing and snowboarding we decided we wanted to cook dinner, but didn't want to make anything too labor intensive and we were starving.  She suggested making spaghetti and meatballs I was convinced this would be the perfect comfort food. We did a quick search for an easy meatball recipe and came across a very thorough meatball tutorial on The Kitchn. The recipe looked simple and the cooking technique was the easiest I've ever used. I have to admit that I never knew you could put an uncooked meatball straight into your pasta sauce and cook it that way. It is by far the easiest method I have ever used (no mess from frying, no heating up the oven). If you've never made meatballs before click on the link to the recipe and learn all there is to learn about meatballs and the many ways of preparing them.

Adapted from The Kitchn

1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnish)
1/4 cup finely minced Italian parsley
1 pound ground beef (you can also sub your preferred ground meat)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (or grated on a coarse grater) from 1 small yellow onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
2/3 pack spaghetti

In a small bowl mix together the milk and breadcrumbs and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, salt and pepper. Next mix in the cheese and parsley. Using you hands, mix the meat onto the egg mixture. Add the onion, garlic and soaked breadcrumbs. Mix until thoroughly combined but do not overwork the meat. Pinch off pieces of the meat and begin rolling your meatballs into 1.5" circles.

Pour the marinara sauce into a large cast iron pot (or any large pot). Pour another 1/2 of water into the marinara sauce jar, close the lid, and shake to release the sauce remnants in the jar. Pour this into the pot as well. Bring your marinara sauce to a boil and then reduce heat and leave at a simmer. Add the meatballs to your pot and cover. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.

When the meatballs are close to being done cook the spaghetti to you liking. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
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