Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers - Real Meatballs & Spaghetti

Real Meatballs & Spaghetti is February's first Barefoot Blogger dish and was chosen by Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake, If you haven't checked out her site, go as fast as your fingers will take you as her blog is full of wit and great cooking.

This is not the first time I have made homemade meatballs and sauce, but it is the best homemade meatballs and sauce I have made. I initially planned on eliminating the ground veal called for in the recipe but I found a meatloaf/meatball mix of the three meats at the grocery store and it just seemed to easy to pass up. I followed the rest of the recipe fairly closely but halved the meatball ingredients and still had more than a dozen good sized meatballs. The elements of this recipe came together easily and the end result was a rich and tasty dish with the red wine providing the simple elegant touch that is signature Barefoot Contessa. Enjoy!

Real Meatballs & Spaghetti
from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten

For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
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. 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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  1. This looks great, you can never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs!

  2. looks amazing. I'm a pasta girl. I'll have to try that for sure !!

  3. Looks pretty perfect with a little bread on the side!

  4. I found a premix of mince as well. I'm glad I had all three - I think it made it tastier. Nice photo as well.

  5. Glad you liked it and think it's the best you've made!


  6. It was easy to put together, and yes, good call it was signature Ina.

  7. Ive made this dish is delish! Everything Ina makes is so good. Ive met her at a book signing once and she was so rock star!

  8. Sara, Queen B, Spike, Suzie, Cake Italy, Cat, and Cynthia - thanks for stopping by and the nice comments.

    Jill - I'm totally jealous! Ina would be my first choice of celebrity chefs to spend a day in the kitchen with.

  9. Sure looks delicious! I love your blog and would love to see your watercolours.

    I really like the idea of the Barefoot Bloggers! I've been looking to see if I can find one like that for Alton Brown.


  10. I'm with you-I thought this recipe was super, too, and will make it again. Yum.

  11. Welcome to the Foodie Blog roll. With my husband being Italian, I will have to try out your recipe!

  12. I sent you one!


    Happy Valentine's Day!

  13. I just made turkey meatballs, they were so good!


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