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Friday, September 21, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A Repeat...BUT it's what we're having for dinner and I thought you might want to enjoy some too.

I really like Spaghetti and Meatballs and I don't know why I don't make them more often. The kids don't like meatballs but that actually makes it easier because they can eat just sauce on pasta without the interruption of ~gasp~ meat.

In an attempt to get them to eat a meatball, I left out minced green pepper because you know kids, if they spot anything "green", they freak..or at least my kids do. Max claimed he still didn't like it but I'm thinking he didn't "hate" it because he finished it..things are looking up. Anyway, I missed the green peppers. Green peppers have a definite taste and if you don't like them, leave them's all good either way.

So, let's get started. The sauce is the same as my regular spaghetti sauce minus the ground beef.

1/2 medium onion diced
3-4 cloves diced garlic
6 oz can tomato paste
16 oz tomato sauce ~ you can use 2 small or 1 large can
1 can diced tomatoes ~ I used petite cut
12 oz water
3 t Italian Seasoning
1 t Basil
1 t Oregano
2 bay leaves
1 t Cayenne pepper

Saute your onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes. When they start to smell good, add the diced tomatoes and seasoning. Stir around and simmer a few minutes. Add the rest, put on simmer and make your meatballs.

1 lb Ground Beef
1 Egg
3/4 package of crushed Saltines
1/2 small Onion minced
1/2 medium Green Pepper minced
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/2 t Garlic Powder

Mix together, roll one meatball, microwave for 1 minute. Yes, I said's quick and the meatballs stay moist. Taste and make sure it is seasoned correctly. Roll up all your meatballs, cover with wax paper and microwave for 4-5 minutes depending on your microwave. Add to sauce. Simmer about an hour and serve over pasta.
Here is another one of the kitchen gadgets I love and endorse. The mini food processor or chopper that saves you SO much time. Works like a gem and LOVE it when I need onions and/or green pepper so finely minced that it literally makes me cry. Put your pepper and onion in and give it a blast. Ahh, so easy.
Here's your meat, onions and crumbs. I actually used bread crumbs for the first time ever and I didn't "love" them. The meatballs are firmer, they weren't bad, I just prefer the crackers and that's why I posted that as my recipe. If you want to go the crumb route, use 3/4 C fine bread crumbs. I also used a little over a pound of meat because I had meat that needed to be used up. The recipe above is accurate, pay no attention to the extra meat in the photo.
Add your egg and seasoning and get your hands dirty. Mix it up.
My meatballs are about the size of a large gumball, you know the .25 cent kind. Cook one for a minute and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Roll up the rest and put them on a microwave safe plate. You don't have to leave too much room. Cover with wax paper. Cook 2 1/2 minutes, check and keep microwaving. Mine took 5 minutes.
Done. Now let's make some sauce.
Onions, garlic and 1 T Olive Oil. Cook until onions are softening, a few minutes.
Add tomatoes and simmer a few minutes with spices. Add sauce, paste and water.
Add your meatballs to the sauce and simmer for about an hour.
Now for some pasta information. Bring a large pot of cold water to boil you want to make sure the pasta will not be crowded or it won't cook correctly. Add 1 T of salt. Put your pasta in the water. I usually use the medium size box for a pot of sauce. Give the pasta a stir. I use thin spaghetti and it takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. You can give it one more stir if you want. Drain the pasta, NOT rinsing helps the sauce stick but rinsing with hot water will prevent sticking if it's going to be awhile before you eat. Or you can toss with a bit of cooking spray or olive oil. If you OVER cook, you can sometimes save the pasta by running VERY cold water immediately on top of the pasta.
Dinner is served:)

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