Monday, December 1, 2008
Meatballs and sauce...You ask and I deliver!!!
When I asked some of my friends what they would like to see on my blog I was told Meatballs. I've posted sweet and sour meatballs but not the regular meatball recipe I use in my sauce. My mom makes veal meatballs which I always loved but then I met Steve and he won't eat veal. So now I make beef meatballs using his mother's recipe and I now prefer them to veal. Sorry mom, your meatballs are still awesome but I have to do for Steve what you did for Daddy!!!
It makes me laugh when people say "Spaghetti and Meatballs" because growing up in an Italian American household we never had meatballs when we ate spaghetti. Sundays were usually tubular pastas such as penne, ziti, rigatoni and occasionally fusilli (I loved them as a child, I called them roller coasters) and Thursdays (yes we also had pasta on Thursdays) we had spaghetti, linguini or angel hair, but that was never served with meatballs but instead a meat sauce (ground beef) or what my Mom called a Chicken Gravy (made with chicken legs and thighs), a marinara sauce with no meat at all or a tuna sauce (basic marinara with canned tuna added). My point is that Italian food has become so Americanized and when I hear Spaghetti and Meatballs I think Chef Boyardee...which you will never find in my house. EVER. I'm not sure about other Italian households but we also never ate our meat (sauce meat we called it)at the same time as the pasta. (However, I did take a picture of it together because I was too lazy to fish all the meatballs out of the pot.) It was always served in a platter as a second course with the salad. In my house salad is always served at the end of the meal. We even ate it in the same plate as our meat. That's just how we did it.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here's the recipe.
2 lbs ground beef (85% lean)
½ large or medium onion, chopped
4-5 gloves garlic (minced)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup bread crumbs
Mix all ingredients together and then form meatballs. Brown on all sides in olive oil. When browned put in sauce to cook thru. Makes approx. 18 meatballs.
Notice the little one for the cook!!! Yum!!!
Michele's Basic Sauce
2 cans Tuttorosa crushed tomatoes (use whatever brand you like)
1 medium onion, diced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
fresh basil, to taste (dried or frozen can also be used)
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (if you like more spice add more)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning and basil. Stir to combine flavors.
2. Add crushed tomatoes and stir. Fill about 1/3 can with water and swish around to clean tomatoes from sides and then pour into next can and do the same thing. Add to pot. Stir and add sugar, salt and pepper.
3. Let sauce come to a boil and add fried meatballs to the pot and stir gently. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for 2 hours stirring frequently. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
If you want to add sausage, beef steaks, pork ribs or neckbones saute them in oil in the same pan as the meatballs and add to sauce when you add meatballs putting heavier meats in first.