My Mother's Cooking - Spaghetti with Meatballs
Spaghetti with Meatballs
What are Panko Breadcrumbs?
My Mother's Cooking
Spaghetti with Meatballs
When my mother made spaghetti, it was usually with meat sauce made from ground beef and her own home canned tomatoes. Later, when she no longer canned tomatoes, she used commercial tomato sauce or tomato paste. I have taken this one step further and I prefer to begin with inexpensive spaghetti sauce (whatever is on sale) and modify it to my taste.
I also prefer meatballs over meat sauce because I like the contrast between the rich tomato sauce and the savory meatballs. You can use any stale bread cut into small cubes and soaked in water to make the meatballs. But I prefer Panko bread crumbs because of their size and texture.
When I make spaghetti and meatballs today, I usually make enough for about 8-9 servings even though there are only three of us. Because of its high acidity, spaghetti sauce easily keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator and it can also be frozen. Then, when you need a quick supper, you can easily warm it up and cook some fresh pasta in about 30 minutes.
Ingredients for the Sauce:
One Large Onion peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 32-Oz. Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1-16 Oz. Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
6-8 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon of Basil
I tablespoon of Oregano
1 Teaspoon of Fennel Seeds
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
Pepper to Taste
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, add the chopped onions and cook them over moderate heat until they are translucent.
- Add the fennel seed, salt and pepper and cook for one minute more.
- Then add the whole tomatoes and break them each into several pieces using a large spoon.
- If you started with a skillet, transfer the sauce to a large cooking pot and add the tomato sauce, the other spices and the chopped garlic, but reserve the teaspoon of sugar.
- After the sauce simmers for about an hour, taste it and add the sugar if necessary. It will depend on the acidity of the spaghetti sauce that you used. Also add more salt if necessary
- Continue simmering the sauce for at least another hour – the longer the better. Meanwhile, make the meatballs.
Ingredients for the Meatballs:
2 Lbs. of Ground Beef or a mixture of Beef and Pork
1 Small Onion peeled and finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 Cup of Panko bread crumbs with ½ cup of water added to them
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
- Place the meat in a large bowl and form a hollow in the middle.
- Add the onion, garlic, bread crumbs and spices and then add the two eggs
- With your hands, thoroughly mix the contents until they are evenly mixed.
- Form the meat mixture into golf ball sized balls and place them in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. There should be 24 or more meatballs
- Bake the meatballs in a 400 F oven for about 40 minutes until they are browned and then add them to the sauce using a slotted spoon.
- Drain of any excess fat from the pan and then deglaze it with some of the sauce mixed with a little hot water. Then add this to the sauce and continue cooking it for at least 30 more minutes.
Serve with thin spaghetti or your favorite pasta and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. A glass of Chianti would go well with this.
How to make meatballs?
Basic Italian Tomato Sauce
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