Weeknight Spaghetti and Meatballs

If I ever have time and money to burn, I would like to go to culinary school. I’d love to learn fancy-food dishes and techniques, use top-of-the-line equipment, and get to try lots of interesting things. I doubt that will ever happen, but I am blessed that Big Man lets me play “chef” and try new dishes and techniques even though he isn’t really the foodie type. (And if I’m being honest here, I am not really a true foodie either, I’m a wannabe. I’ll try just about any type of food, but what I actually eat day to day fits a 5 years old’s palate better than that of a Food Network star. Scallops, truffles, vegetables? Not so much. Sugar cereal, pepperoni pizza, and grilled-cheese-ketchup sandwiches? Yes, absolutely.) So a couple times a month I try cooking or baking something fancy and foodie-like, and it is something I really enjoy. But most of the time my recipes revolve around “normal” food, the simple, tasty thing that Big Man, Little Man, and I love eating.

So here is another weeknight recipe. Spaghetti and meatballs with a homemade sauce that is easy and quick enough to make on a weeknight. The sauce is a variation of 3 Ingredient Sauce from Smells Like Home and the Meatballs are from Savory Sweet Life. I added a couple things to the sauce, but the meatball recipe isn’t changed at all. I just cut it in half when I don’t want leftover meatballs and half the recipe makes just enough for 2 adults and a toddler. And if you are really in a time crunch, do bother sauteeing the onions and garlic for the meatballs, just mix them in raw. I’ve done it before and it works fine.

Sauce

1 28 oz. can peeled crushed tomatoes
5 tbs unsalted butter
1 yellow onion (or Vidalia when in season), peeled and cut in half
3 tbs half and half or heavy cream
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine tomatoes, butter and onion is large saucepan. Heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and half and half/cream and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove onion and serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

Meatballs (serves 2)

1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauteĀ onion and garlic until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes, cool slightly. In a large bowl, add all ingredients with onion and garlic and mix by hand until combined. Form golf-ball sized meatballs and brown on all sides in skillet (add more oil if needed). Once meatballs are browned, transfer skillet to oven (if oven-safe, otherwise place meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper) and bake for 15 minutes. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti and sauce.

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