Monday, August 1, 2011

Some comfort food for the soul

How to turn a bad day into an awesome day? Cook for people who love and appreciate a simple meal. And who love to praise you, A LOT. On tonight's menu, spaghetti & meatballs. An artichoke gratinata (another name for artichoke with breadcrumbs on top) and a salad that turned into an appetizer.

Spaghetti & Meatballs
1 pound ground beef*
1 pound ground pork*
1/4c dry bread crumbs, Italian seasoning
1c fresh white bread crumbs (I used my food processor and some 2-day old ciabatta bread)
1/2c freshly grate Parmesan cheese
2t kosher salt
dash of nutmeg (if you don't have, you can leave this out)
couple grinds of fresh pepper
handful of chopped parsley
1 large egg, beaten
olive or vegetable oil

*can substitute the meat with veal, turkey or some veggie substitute

For the sauce:
1c chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2t minced garlic
1/2c good red wine
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1T chopped fresh parsley
dash of kosher salt
couple grinds of fresh pepper
1T olive oil

Don't forget the spaghetti!

In a large bowl, combine ground meat, both bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, s&p, nutmeg egg and 1/2c warm water. Combine using a fork. Using your hands, form 2-inch meatballs. This made about 40 meatballs.

Pour the oil into a large skillet. Heat the oil. In batches (do not crowd) place the meatballs and brown them on all sides ~8-10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to a plate or tray that is covered with a paper towel. Discard the oil and put the pan back on the burner. Now on to the sauce...

Add the oil you set aside for the sauce and turn on heat to medium high. Add the onions and cook about 5 minutes or more. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the wine and turn up the heat to high. You want most of the liquid to evaporate. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, s&p.

Add the meatballs back to the sauce and cover them. Allow them to simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes (if you over cooked your meatballs, just let them simmer for less time.)

Serve in a nice bowl with spaghetti on bottom. Pour meatballs and sauce on top. Sprinkle with some leftover parsley and lean over and take a whiff. Good, right?

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