Spaghetti and meatballs

October 29, 2009

The extra time you spend preparing this sauce yourself, instead of opening a jar of store bought, will be well worth your effort. This recipe will feed quite a few hungry people, about 8 to 10 good size servings. I don’t explicitly state this in the recipe, but it is important to verify that your ingredients are gluten-free. Check the labels on tomatoes, cheese, and meats, and call the manufacturer for verification if you have any doubt. This would also be a fine time to utilize your food processor if you have one, as the most time consuming element of the recipe, besides the browning of the meatballs, is chopping the vegetables for the sauce. But I don’t recommend you chop your onions in the food processor – it seems to really let those eye irritating onion juices permeate the air, and your guests might shed a tear or two when they walk in your door.

Marinara sauce:

  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ C white wine (optional)
  • 2 28z cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5z can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 T of dried basil

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery, as well as the garlic, salt and pepper to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Add in the white wine and cook for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low heat with the lid askew on top of the pot.

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 C Italian blend of shredded cheese
  • ¼ C parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • a few pinches of nutmeg

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with your hands until everything is combined. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Form the meatballs into balls the size of large golf balls. Brown them on all sides in batches in the skillet, turning gently with some tongs. When browned, deposit them gently into the marinara sauce. Simmer the sauce and meatballs for at least an hour, and preferably more toward 3 hours. Serve over brown rice pasta with a side salad.

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