Spaghetti and Meatballs: Authentic Italian Seasoning

Homemade spaghetti and meatballs are quite a crowd pleaser! The homemade sauce for this is made easier by adding tomato paste last; less stirring is required while the sauce reduces. And the meatballs have that sausage-like flavor, without the extra fat and additives that pork sausage typically has. Another convenience: the browned meatballs are put in the oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking. Less minding of the pan, and the meatballs don’t fall apart as some tend to do. Make a full batch of this large recipe and freeze half if necessary; frozen meatballs covered in sauce keep well for 2 or more months. Serves 8 or so.

Grateful-Table-Spaghetti-and-MeatballsMeatball

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 TBS. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. dry Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp. dry sage
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. oatmeal
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan
  • 1/4 c. fresh, chopped parsley

Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 c. (2 lb.) fine-chopped onion
  • 8-10 garlic cloves (1/4 c.), minced
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. red wine (or 1/2 c. red wine vinegar)
  • 3 lb. carrots
  • 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2- 28 oz. cans chunk tomatoes (almost 2 quarts)
  • 1/2 TBS. salt
  • 1/2 TBS. pepper
  • 2 TBS. dry basil
  • 2 lb. dry spaghetti (or less if making some of the meatballs and sauce for the freezer)

PREPARATION

1. For the tomato sauce, saute’ in a med. skillet with lid on: > 6 c. (2 lb.) fine-chopped onion > 8-10 garlic cloves (1/4 c.), minced > 1/4 c. olive oil

2. Stir occasionally, over med. high heat. Turn burner down as the onions soften, and remove lid. Next add to the onion skillet: > 1 c. red wine (or 1/2 c. red wine vinegar)

3. Meanwhile, steam (or pressure-cook) carrots until tender, in just a half-inch or so of water: > 3 lb. carrots, chopped coarse

4. Turn the burner up again to let the liquid boil off some, stirring occasionally. Last of all, add the mixture to a large bowl or pot, mixing in the remaining ingredients: > 8 oz. can tomato paste > 2- 28 oz. cans chunk tomatoes (almost 2 quarts) > 1/2 TBS. salt > 1/2 TBS. pepper > 2 TBS. dry basil

5. For meatballs, mix all the meatball ingredients together: > 2 lb. ground beef > 2 TBS. minced garlic > 2 tsp. dry Italian herbs > 1 tsp. dry sage > 1 tsp. black pepper > 2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and crushed > Dash nutmeg > 1 1/2 tsp. salt > 1/3 c. oatmeal > 3 eggs > 1/2 c. parmesan > 1/4 c. fresh, chopped parsley

6. Ideally, scoop meatballs w/cookie scoop (or hand-roll). Brown batches of meatballs in large iron skillet. Remove to cookie sheet when browned, continuing with process. When finished browning, bake meatballs in 300 degree oven for 20 minutes to cook thoroughly. Add meatballs to tomato sauce, serve w/cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese. To freeze some of it, store in plastic pint containers (or freezer bags), covered with the tomato sauce.

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