Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY Basic Cooking -- spaghetti and meatballs

Now that you can brown meat, you can make meatballs.  This should serve 4 very well indeed, especially with a salad and a dessert.  Takes up to an hour to make.  The meatballs and sauce can be made a day ahead and then re-heated while you cook the spaghetti.

1 pound ground beef
1 egg beaten to a smooth yellow color
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/3 cup fine bread crumbs or matso meal
optional other seasonings like parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper

The other seasonings will also be in the spaghetti sauce and cook into the meatballs that way.

Mix everything together thoroughly and shape into balls.  You can get 8 2-ounce meatballs out of this.  Put in your frying pan with a THIN layer of oil and brown on all sides on 2 1/2.  Stop before they get crispy.

Spaghetti sauce

1/2 to full medium onion, brown peel removed, diced
2-6 cloves garlic split off the head, white papery peel taken off, sliced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (I like Furmano's; Tuttarossa already has seasonings in it and I don't like that because I use Furmano's for chili and kentumere as well.)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste or 1/4 pound dried tomatoes
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine
pinch sugar
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
optional crushed red pepper, 6 mushroom caps diced, 1/4 cup diced green or red bell pepper

Saute onions and garlic with the meatballs.  Pick out the meatballs, add in the other ingredients, cover and simmer on 2 1/2 for 15 minutes, add in the meatballs and simmer another 15 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile get out your saucepan that you used to make mirepoix, get some water boiling, and throw in half the box of spaghetti.  While it boils and the sauce matures, make a salad and get out your frozen tiramisu.

Pull out the spaghetti (easier if you have a strainer, just pour the contents of the saucepan through it).  Put it in a bowl and cover with the sauce & meatballs and get it to the table immediately.

Other options:
1.  If you don't eat meat, you can put diced eggplant in the sauce but it won't provide protein, just texture. 
2.  Some people make a ragu sauce by browning the meat alone crumbled up with the onions and garlic and then putting in the tomatoes and herbs.
3.  In ragu sauce, substitute cumin for the basil and 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle instead of parsley and you have chili sauce; add canned kidney beans.
4.  Brown Italian sausage and rings of green bell pepper, cook in half the tomato sauce and serve on hoagie rolls (sub rolls).
5.  Brown your ground beef and add half the spaghetti sauce and you have sloppy joes.


© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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