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July 9, 2011

Spaghetti, Meatballs and Garlic Bread

For this post, I didn't have a chance to take a bunch of photos during the cooking process. I was trying to multi-task, by cooking and playing video games at the same time, something I don't recommend. And I forgot to grab my camera before I dug in, so this photo is leftovers (which were still just as tasty!) Anyways, I made my own meatballs and tomato sauce for this, and made a few substitutions, based on what we had and what my mom bought even though I told her to buy something else. No matter, it worked out, and I note some substitutions that may have been better as the original ingredient. Making everything in these recipes was extremely time consuming, but turned out tasty and it makes enough for plenty of leftovers.

Here's the Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

Prep Time: 40 min | Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 min | Difficulty: Medium | Serves: 6

For The Meatballs:
½ pound Ground Lamb (recipe called for veal, but we had some lamb in the freezer, either will be fine)
½ pound Ground Pork (my mom bought Italian sausage, which seemed to give too many extraneously flavors to the meatballs. Go for the regular pork)
1 pound Ground Beef
1 cup Fresh White Bread Crumbs (4 Slices,crusts removed, stick in a blender or food processor to make it easier on yourself)
¼ cup Seasoned Dry Bread Crumbs (I used Italian seasoned bread crumbs)
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
½ cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 Extra-Large Eggbeaten
Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
For The Sauce:
1 Tbsp Good Olive Oil
1 cup Chopped Yellow Onion (1 Onion)
1 ½ tsp Minced Garlic
½ cup Good Red Winesuch as Chianti (I just used some Zinfandel we had around, and then drank some with the dish)
1 (28-ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoesor plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For Serving:
1 ½ pounds Spaghetticooked according to package directions (I just made 1 pound, since there were only 3 of us, and will make more when I heat up the leftover meatballs)
Freshly Grated Parmesan

1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and ¾ 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. (I ended up with more)

2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of ¼-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. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Here's the Garlic Bread recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 15 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 4-6

6 large Garlic Cloveschopped
¼ cup Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
¼ cup Chopped Fresh Oregano Leaves
½ tsp Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ cup Good Olive Oil
1 loaf Ciabatta Bread
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until minced. Add the parsley, oregano, salt and pepper and pulse twice.

3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and add the garlic mixture. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Slice the ciabatta bread in half horizontally, and spread the butter on 1 half. Spread the garlic mixture on the other half of the bread, and put the halves together. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil.

5. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Open the foil, and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

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