Maybe I should search for recipes on my blog before I write them up… I was convinced that I’d never posted this recipe (one of my all-time favorites), but I did (in August of 2008). However, since it’s so good and since I have a much-improved photo, I think it’s worthy of a repeat. I made it recently for Dr. O and my friend Christopher; subsequently, Christopher has been signing me up for meatball throwdowns with friends’ Italian mothers, convinced I’ll win. It’s a pretty amazing recipe.
In Dallas, I would routinely make this dish, along with Penne with Vodka Sauce, when we’d have dinner guests. I always appreciated that I could make the meatballs ahead and have them waiting in the refrigerator; sautéing them and making the sauce was easy enough, even in the presence of company. If you’re like my family (not a drop of Italian blood in us, yet we have Italian food for Christmas dinner), this could be a great option for a holiday meal.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Serves 4 – 6
Prep time: 20 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes
1 large egg
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
8 ounces ground pork
8 ounces ground dark-meat turkey
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
3/4 pound spaghetti
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in half the onion and half the garlic. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, pork, turkey, and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Mix gently. Form into 16 balls.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs; brown on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Cook remaining meatballs in remaining tablespoon oil; remove meatballs.
Add remaining onion; cook over medium-low until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning; cook 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and 3/4 cup water. Return meatballs; cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove meatballs.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain, return to pot. Toss with sauce; serve meatballs on top, sprinkled with more cheese.
Note: If you have time, chill the meatballs for about 30 minutes before cooking them; this will help them keep their shape and make them easier to handle.
Source: Everyday Food, April 2004
Oh, these meatballs are soooo good. They’re super flavorful (thank the seasoning and the beautiful browning!), and Christopher characterized them as “fluffy,” as opposed to the super-dense meatballs you get with some recipes. The sauce is garlicky deliciousness; just make sure you taste and season it to your liking before serving the dish.
TIPS: This is a repeat from the original post, but at most grocery stores, ground pork and turkey come in 16-ounce packages, not 8-ounce packages. In the interest of efficiency, I always double the meatball part of the recipe (making 32 meatballs) and freeze half of them. When I’m ready to cook them, I just thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and start with the second step of the recipe.
Recipe link: Spaghetti and Meatballs