Spaghetti with meatballs. It’s a time-tested favorite in households everywhere. Each family has their own recipe, it seems. I’d like to share mine. But I have to tell the story behind it as well.
I am German/Irish, hailing from the Amish lands of Central PA. I am not Amish, obviously. When I met Mister, a full-blooded Italian from South Jersey, there was a slight culture clash, I have to say. When we (my family) do big meals, all the courses are set out at once (except dessert). So for my first Christmas dinner with Mister’s family, I fell in love with the spaghetti. Mister’s grandmother had made it, and she’d made the pasta from scratch too. The sauce was simple, unassuming, and tasted much like tomatoes. In the six years since that first meal (in which I filled up on spaghetti, only to be shocked that it was merely the second course in what turned out to be a six course meal), I have tried to duplicate her sauce, without much success.
Last night, in what I thought would turn out to be a culinary disaster, I stumbled upon a smash hit with the Mister. Without further ado, the recipe…
You will need:
2 cans Tuttaroso crushed tomatoes
2 cans Tuttaroso tomato sauce
That’s it. No, really. I totally forgot to season it, I cooked it for 2 hours and it was wonderful.
Prep time: 2 minutes.
Cook time: 2-3 hours
Pour cans into large soup pot. Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat to med-low (about 9 o’clock on the burner dial). Set it and forget it. Seriously. Stir like maybe once every half hour.
3 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
salt & pepper
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yields: A lot. I was making them to freeze them, you can easily halve the recipe. I got 40 1 1/2 inch meatballs out of it.
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Shape into meatballs about 1 – 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Bake in oven in ungreased oven safe glass for 1 hour.
Take about 1/2 cup of the fat/juice that cooks off the meatballs and add to sauce. I also threw in some meatballs into the sauce and cooked for about 15 minutes.
Bring water to boil in large pot and add pasta.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to assemble and serve it, right? But anyways, drain cooked al dente pasta, place on dish, ladle sauce over it and have some meatballs.