Friday, September 21, 2012

Real Spaghetti and Meatballs

I have to say first and foremost that I am not a big fan of Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa recipes.  I don't think that I have posted very many of them but I also have to say that these meatballs are "to die for."  For real.  The problem is that they get eaten so fast.  I have no idea where this batch of meatballs went but it was just gone.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly.  I used two packages of meatloaf mix at the grocery store and by that I mean the 1/3 beef, 1/3 pork, 1/3 veal ground meat mix.  I also used only fresh white bread crumbs.  I didn't use the seasoned dry bread crumbs.  I will probably use them next time but I didn't have any.  These meatballs are seriously delicious.  

Real Spaghetti and Meatballs
From Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook


For the meatballs:
·         1/2 pound ground veal
·         1/2 pound ground pork
·         1 pound ground beef
·         1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
·         1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
·         2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
·         1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
·         2 teaspoons kosher salt
·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·         1 extra-large egg, beaten
·         Vegetable oil
·         Olive oil

For the sauce:
·         1 tablespoon good olive oil
·         1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
·         1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
·         1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
·         1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
·         1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
·         1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
·         1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
·         Freshly grated Parmesan

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.
For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.