Friday, November 8, 2013

Spaghetti and Meatballs



I always thought making my own marinara sauce would be super difficult.  Turns out, it's not.  It takes some time to simmer but the prep is super easy and well worth it.

I love pasta so much that at one point in my life I suspected that I was born in the wrong country.  When I was 17 I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe over summer break.  That included 5 glorious days in Italy.  Rome, Florence and Montacatini.  It was so surreal.  I sat in the Piazza Navona every night drinking cappuccino while people watching.  The Italian people are so warm and friendly and their food???  Out of this world!  One day I will go back just to eat my way through that country.

I love rustic foods.  It's so freeing to just use a few ingredients to make a superb meal that feeds so many people and tastes so rich and delicious.  It took me a long time to perfect this marinara sauce.  It's my "go to" and pairs perfectly with my meatballs and a pound of spaghetti.  I'll be eating this for a week unless someone wants to come over for left overs.

Marinara Sauce

ingredients

2  16 ounce cans of whole tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
salt and pepper to taste.
Olive oil
Flat leaf italian parsley to garnish

In a large pot or dutch oven,  pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cook onions and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  I season my onions and garlic with a teaspoon of salt and fresh ground black pepper.   Pour the can of tomatoes in a bowl and using your hands, break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.  Add to the onions and garlic.  Mix in the oregano and let simmer over low heat for about an hour.  Taste the sauce before serving to check the seasoning.

Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Mix the oregano, garlic powder, egg, milk, bread crumbs and parsley in a bowl.  Add ground beef and mix well.  Just use your hands.  It's the best way to ensure every thing is well mixed without over mixing.  Form into balls and bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.  After removing from the oven add the meatballs to the marinara sauce and cook for 15 more minutes.

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