I'm sure I've mentioned before that I heart spaghetti and meatballs. I heart it so much. We rarely had spaghetti when I was growing up because my mom doesn't like it. She claims she ate too much of it in college and can't eat it anymore. Same goes for macaroni and cheese, which is odd because personally I ate a TON of that in college (and my whole life really) and still could eat it multiple times a week. Who knows. Occasionally we would get spaghetti but we'd never get meatballs. I was so excited when I found out my mother-in-law makes meatballs and even more excited when she gave me her recipe for them.
For whatever reason, I don't make this all that often, even though I love it. Probably because we don't eat a lot of red meat, and soy meatballs just aren't the same thing. They'll work in a pinch, but they don't even come close to real meatballs. Originally I had planned on making just spaghetti sauce last Tuesday for the boy and me for dinner, but that's when our family crisis came to a head, and by the time the boy and I got home from my mom's house, I was completely drained and exhausted and didn't have it in me to cook dinner. So I figured I'd bump it to Sunday night dinner and add in meatballs since the husband loves them too. The meatball recipe is my MIL's, the sauce recipe is from a cookbook put together by members of a message board that I belong to. I've made it before and loved it.
lean ground beef – 2 pounds or more
Italian bread crumbs ( 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
chopped onion – 1 chopped fine
parsley (1 1/2 tab minced)
grated Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup)
Mix ingredients for the meatballs (ground beef, italian bread crumbs, chopped onion, parsley, grated parmesan cheese, and eggs. Salt and Pepper. Shape into balls and fry in a little olive oil.
3 cans crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
Mince the garlic and onion. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add cans of crushed tomatoes plus half a can of water and bring to a boil. When it's boiling, turn the heat way down and let it simmer. The longer you let it simmer, the better it will taste. For three cans, let simmer about 90 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. At the very end chop up some basil and stir it in (dried basil would work too).
I forgot to add the parmesan cheese to the meatballs. I could tell something was missing, but the husband didn't say anything about them being off. They were still good, just not as good as they could have been. Also, my sauce turned out really watery for some reason. It was fine in the pot, but then once it was on our plates it was super runny. I didn't rinse off the pasta--which is what I always thought caused the problem--so I have no idea what happened.
Oh, and here's my fancy way of doing this. I cook the meatballs in the same pot I use to make the sauce. Then you get yummy little bits of meatballs stuck to the bottom of the pot. I deglaze the pot with some red wine, let it cook like that for awhile to get rid of the alcohol, then add in the sauce ingredients. Mmmmm...gives it just a little extra flavor that's super yummy.