I like meatballs.
D likes meatballs.
And luckily for us Noreen likes meatballs, and she’s visiting this week.
Making your own tomato pasta sauce is much easier than you think. Really. I promise. Noreen, can you vouch for me?? Nobody ever believes me when I say that.1 large onion 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Chop the onion and saute for a couple of minutes.
Add the garlic and continue to cook for 5 or so minutes, stirring every now and then so the onion and garlic cooks evenly and doesn’t burn.
Add the wine or bubbles, and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Then add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, & red pepper flakes, give it a good stir and reduce the heat to low.
Now it’s meatball time. I realize I’ve posted on meatballs before. But these ones are different. Healthier. Juicier. Why you ask? Because they are cooked in the sauce, so they soak up all the tomato-y loveliness. Usually I bake mine, but Andrea from Can You Stay For Dinner cooked hers this way and I thought it was so clever. Not only will they be much more moist, but it’s one less pan to clean up! And then, I read on Bon Appétit to mix the breadcrumbs with milk, hence the oh so pretty photo above.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. And if you get squeamish doing this with your hands try disposable gloves… your hands do such a better job than any utensil.
Form into balls and place carefully into the sauce. At this point you can continue to cook on your stove top over low heat, or you can finish cooking in the oven. I put the oven on to 300 degrees and cooked for approximately 30 minutes until the sauce was bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking you can prep the garlic bread and boil some water for the spaghetti. I don’t have quantities for the garlic bread, I’m sorry… I had a small amount of butter left, so I added some olive oil so there was enough to cover the bread. Also, I decided to add some cubes of frozen chopped basil. Sometimes I add chopped parsley. Sometimes nothing. It all depends on your preferences.
Microwave for 30 seconds and stir to combine the butter, olive oil and basil.
My favorite bread for garlic bread is a ciabatta loaf. So many air pockets… perfect for filling with garlicky goodness. Your water should be boiling by now so throw in the spaghetti and while it’s cooking bake the garlic bread at 300 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes in foil, unwrap, separate and broil for 3-5 minutes until the top is slightly golden.
Drain your pasta, top with sauce, meatballs, and a huge hunk of garlic bread…
Dinner is complete!