Savory

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

Here’s the thing: I have a love-hate relationship with Sundays. On one hand, it’s the last day of the weekend, work is coming the next day, you can’t stay up as late, and it just kind of goes way faster than Saturday does. On the other hand, you have church in the morning, Sundays are more relaxing than Saturdays, you get to nap more on Sunday, and more importantly, you get to have Sunday dinner! This is probably the biggest reason I love Sunday. Sorry, Pastor Mike…

Sunday dinners are the definition of comfort food to me. If I think of any hearty, warming dish, I’ve probably had it on Sunday! Not only that, but you can eat dinner around 4 in the afternoon, so after you’re done eating, cleaned up from dinner and ready to relax, it’s only like 6! You still have the whole rest of the night to dread work the next day!

I think we all have a bunch of comfort food classics, my grandma’s stew and dumplings, slow cooker chicken and dumplings, biscuits and sausage gravy, and of course, spaghetti and meatballs. I’m not really surprised that most of my comfort food classics involve a carb in many shapes and forms… Let’s face it, carbs are comforting.

Spaghetti and meatballs have to be one of the most versatile dishes every! I think everyone has their own meatball recipe with their own sauce recipe! I know just talking to the people in my family, there’s a bunch of different combinations of meatballs! I love this recipe because it allows you to play around with what’s in your pantry and see if there’s anything you want to add or swap out!

I can also attest to the fact that making your own sauce is so easy, you won’t want to buy the store-bought pasta sauce ever again! It’s so delicious and it couldn’t be easier to make! If you can chop an onion, you can make this sauce! Believe me, it’s life-changing and I’ve never in my whole life exaggerated.

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

1 pound of ground beef

1 pound of mild Italian sausage

2 eggs

1/4 cup of milk

3/4 cup of breadcrumbs

1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Half an onion, grated or chopped

2 cloves of garlic, grated

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, grated

2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste

1/2 cup of chicken stock

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of chopped basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and get a large pot of water going for your pasta. In a large bowl, place the meat, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, cheese, seasonings, and garlic. Over a plate lined with paper towels, grate half an onion. Wrap the paper towels around the grated onion, and squeeze out the extra water. If you’d like you can just chop the onion, but I think that by grating the onion, it kind of dissolves into the meatballs, but you still get that amazing onion flavor. If you grate it, you have to drain the excess water or it’ll add too much liquid into the meatballs. Add the grated onion to the bowl and begin to mix. Use your non-dominant hand and begin to mix the ingredients; using your non-dominant hand ensures you don’t overmix the meat which turns into tough meatballs. Using a small cooking scoop, scoop a meatball into your hand to form into a ball and then place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Once you place the meatballs in the oven, you can drop your pasta into the water and begin to make your sauce. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and onion to the pan. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent and then add in the garlic. Cook for a minute longer and then add in the tomato paste. I let the paste cook with the onions and garlic for about a minute, then add in the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Add in the seasonings of your choice and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked, the meatballs are ready and the sauce is done simmering, which hopefully happens at the same time, we are ready to serve! I plate up the pasta first, three meatballs, four if you’re feeling super hungry, and then ladle the sauce over the meatballs. Top with grated parm, basil, and serve with garlic bread. Wine is optional but highly recommended!

One thing I suggest would be to have a rack underneath the meatballs when cooking! They’ll turn out delicious either way, but it’ll help them cook from every angle! You could also fry them in super hot pan for about a minute or two to get some crispy edges!
But if you don’t, they’re still absolutely amazing!

Just looking at this piping hot bowl of spaghetti and meatballs just makes my heart happy. I can feel the cozy creeping into my body and I’m ready to devour this comfort food classic! If the weekend has to end, then I wouldn’t want it any other way than with a bowl of spaghetti.

-Holly Michelle

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