Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS



Sam called last night at the last minute wanting to know if he could cash in a couple of his food vouchers for something off the new stove. First of all, I haven't handed out any food vouchers and when he called, I was already planted in the sunroom with wine in hand. Too many good leftovers in the fridge, so Geraldo and I were cleaning out the shelves to make room for new groceries. Which translates to no cooking for me. Okay, I did cook some egg noodles to go with the leftover broth from the beef short ribs I'd made on Sunday. But, that was the extent of my time at the stove last night. So, I told Sam that I might cook tonight. I started thinking about what needed to be cooked and what was easy. And what makes enough for a small army. The light bulb in my head went off when I thought of the ground chuck in the refridgerator and all the pasta I have in the pantry. And I get home early enough to cook some sauce, so I'm thinking Spaghetti and Meatballs. Now, there are a kazillion recipes for spaghetti and meatballs and this one is a really good one. (See older post "On Top Of Spaghetti" for another). It does take a little time, but it's so worth it. On a day like today when the weather's a mess and you can't go anywhere, get in the kitchen and play. I always have these ingredients on hand. Of course I do. I have a mini grocery store and butcher shop at The Schmidt House. Just ask Geraldo. But, you know? It sure makes sense when you need a can of cream corn or some chopped green chillies. And you never know when you might need a spring roll wrapper! Makes me a popular neighbor, too. I have been called upon more than once to pull a rabbit out of my hat and save them a trip to the grocery store. And that's why I get those last minute phone calls from my boys checking to see what Mama's got on the stove for supper. You see, "Mama don't stove" like she used to, not since those boys got out of the house. Best to call ahead and make a reservation. Or better yet, check to see if the kitchen's even open!.......Here's the recipe.
SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

Meatballs:
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground beef
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and Sauteed
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
Scant bit of cream or half and half, to moisten the bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup pure olive oil
Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juice, pureed in a blender
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch parsley
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 basil leaves, chiffonade
Spaghetti:
12 cups water
Salt
1 pound #8 or #9 spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Garlic Bread:
1 stick soften butter
4 cloves minced garlic
1 country loaf, cut into 3/4-inch slices

Directions
For the Meatballs: Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, except olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and fry until golden brown, but not cooked through completely. (remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.) For the Tomato Sauce: Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add pureed tomatoes and juice, bay leaf and parsley, pepper flakes and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add meatballs and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove the bay leaf and parsley, add the basil and serve.
For the Spaghetti: Bring salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain well in a colander, (do not rinse and reserve some of the pasta water if needed to thin sauce), toss spaghetti in sauce, serve with meatballs and Parmesan cheese.
For the Garlic Bread: Combine butter and garlic. Spread evenly on bread and broil until browned.
At Home On The Range Catering
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