Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Real Spaghetti and Meatballs

Wow, this meal blew me away! Spaghetti and Meatballs is not a meal I make at home or order in restaurants. I think it is because growing up, we had spaghetti sauce from a jar, and I don't think my parents made home-made meatballs (much).
But this was so flavorful. And it makes a LOT of meatballs! I ate 2 and 1/2 and that was enough.
My husband taught me to make better tomato sauce. First, don't buy any can labeled "Tomato Sauce."

Buy this instead, put this on the stove with some wine and spices and it will taste better than any canned tomato sauce.
So here is the recipe, I noted the few changes I made.
Barefoot Contessa's Real Spaghetti and Meatballs
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
6 ish servings


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • *(I used 1lb pork and no veal, since I didn't see it at the market.)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • *(I used panko crumbs mixed with some italian spices)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan


Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork.

Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.


Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.

Here are the delicious meatballs cooking.

Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

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Anonymous said...

I'm the same way about crock-pot meals... my mom made almost EVERYTHING in the crock pot so I stay away from them as an adult.

Glad you tried them! Your dinner looks great! I'll look for the tomatoes.


Suzie said...

We use canned tomatoes a lot here as well. Like you say: easy but tastes soo much better.

Penny said...

Loved your sauce idea. That was my only complaint when I made these.

Anonymous said...

I thought this recipe was super, too. Yes, I think crushed tomatoes are the way to go with this!

Lisa said...

Great pics - looks like yours turned out perfectly!