I felt like making something that was homey and delicious this weekend. When I get into this sort of mood, usually it means something with pasta or potatoes. Something with starches, carbs, and rib sticking fat. Not that this is always good, but once in a while, it’s wonderful for the soul. I can attest to that.
This weekend was great as it was, and I got a lot done. Including getting a new vacuum cleaner which replaced by cheap, sad, broken Dirt Devil. I have to say, nothing is more stressful than purchasing a vacuum once you’ve already spent money (though granted, not a lot of money) on a bad one. You get flashbacks of no suctions, cheap parts, dirt everywhere, and so many dust bunnies!
Luckily as soon as I took this baby out of the box I was in love. I fell even further when I saw how quiet and powerful it was!
Nothing says happy and celebration of finding and even planning on buying a great new vacuum like the soul gratifying food I speak of above.
The recipe I decided to make for dinner, and for leftover lunch (which was even better!) which satisfied all these criteria is spaghetti and meatballs. Very simple, delicious, and easy. All you really need to consider as labor intensive here is rolling the meat, and the dishes afterwards.
For the Meatballs:
- 1/2 lb of ground pork
- 1/2 lb of ground chuck
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- dash of salt
- good grinding of pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs ( I used original panko)
- paprika, to taste
- granulated garlic, to taste
- fresh sage, four leaves, chopped
- nutmeg, to taste
- chili powder, to taste
- 2 tsp herb de provence
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 14 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (14.5 oz)
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika, to taste
- 2 tbsp oregano, dried, or 2 sprigs fresh
- about 2 tsp granulated garlic
- allspice, to taste
- nutmeg, to taste
- cumin, to taste (I used a good tbsp here)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Put everything into a bowl and mix, preferably with own hands, it’s more soothing than you may think.
Prepare a baking sheet, lined with wax paper, or a large plate. Start rolling the meatballs! They should be roughly the same diameter of a quarter, maybe a little bigger, but they are supposed to be small, and bite-sized. I got about 40 meatballs out of this.
Place into the refrigerator while you work on the sauce.
Heat the oil and butter in a pan while you’re chopping up the garlic and onion. Add in the garlic and onion only when the butter has melted and the oil has started to become loose, and glossy. Cook the onions until soft on low heat (the low flame is important because you want the garlic to infuse the oil and not burn), about 7-10 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and spices. Stir and bring to a boil (about 10 more minutes). Add the heavy cream and stir. Taste to see everything is to your liking. Once the meatballs are added, there is no opportunity to mix the sauce, nor to add more spices.
Take the meatballs out of the fridge, and add them, clockwise around the pot, one at a time. Do not worry if they seem like they won’t fit. Once all of them are in the pan, take the pot by the sides and wriggle it around until all the meatballs are covered or sunken into the sauce. Cover, and cook about 15 minutes.
Test a meatball to make it’s cooked through, and once you’ve confirmed that they’re not pink inside go ahead and stir them, gently to coat completely in the sauce. Simmer uncovered, about 8 more minutes, and in the meantime, make your pasta.
Assemble with pasta on the bottom of the bowl, and several generous ladles of the meatballs and sauce. Serve with grated gruyere cheese; that’s optional, but I don’t know of anyone that would say no to cheese!