Monday, November 06, 2006

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Oh my goodness, have you ever had a carb craving so bad that you'd think you'd go crazy? Hmm, maybe it's just me. These carb crazes do tend to happen to me once a month (I wonder why?) and this month I just had to have spaghetti and meatballs. Below is my modified version from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals. If you don't want humungous meatballs, you can make them into 8, 1-1/2 inch balls, if you prefer! Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon of grated onion + the juic3
  • 1 small to medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of overflowing handfuls
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves, 4 to 6 sprigs
  • A couple generous handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 12 baby Portobello caps, (crimini mushrooms), chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup, (8 ounces), beef stock
  • 1 (28-ounce), can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano if available

Preheat 400 degrees F. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.

Mix meat with the grated onion, 3 cloves chopped garlic, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, allspice, capers, sage, a handful of the chopped parsley, salt and pepper and a healthy drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix meat, score the meat into 4 sections and make 4 large meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast 15 minutes until firm but not hard.

Drop spaghetti in salted boiling water to cook off. Drain.

Add another tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet and the bacon. Cook 3 to 4 minutes then add the remaining garlic and mushrooms to the pan and cook 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add remaining chopped onion and deglaze the pan with wine, cook off 1 minute, add in stock and whisk up remaining drippings. Stir in the tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper, if necessary. Stir in parsley. Simmer 5 minutes.

Toss pasta with half the sauce.

Remove balls from oven and add to remaining sauce and turn to coat. Serve meatballs, 1 per person, along side pasta. Spoon any remaining sauce over the pasta. Pass extra cheese at the table.

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