Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meatballs and Marinara

There is just something so comforting about a plate of spaghetti and meatballs isn't there? And man-o-man did I ever need some TLC this week! The flu hit our house pretty hard. My little germ magnet, Emily, brought the flu home with us from our trip to Great Wolf Lodge (a 2 year old getting sick at a water park... why didn't I see THAT coming?) and passed it on to me. I very rarely get sick so it hit me like a ton of bricks. After I had it it went to my 4 year old and then the baby. Needless to say it's been a rough week of laundry, carpet scrubbing and bathroom bleaching.

When I was finally feeling well enough to eat something other than toast I wanted my favourite dinner, spaghetti and meatballs. I know what you're thinking, meatballs are time consuming to make, what with the mixing, kneading, rolling, frying in small batches, etc... Pfft! Who needs all that, I've simplified the whole process to make it fast and less messy and greasy! (And less painful, I never fail to burn myself when splattering grease is involved.) You can make these as spicy or mild as you like and serve them with whatever kind of pasta your family likes.  Buono appetito!

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Meatballs and Marinara

for the meatballs:

1/4 c Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp cream (I use half and half, but heavy or light would work)
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lb lean ground beef

for the marinara:

2 med carrots, diced small
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced small
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c tomato paste
1 16oz can of diced plum tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl mix the bread crumbs, egg, cream, parmesan, hot pepper flakes, garlic and salt and pepper until combined.
2. Add the ground beef and mix using your hands jut until everything is incorporated. (Over-mixing makes tough, dry meatballs)
3. Roll meatball mixture into 1" balls (or use a 1" scoop) and place balls on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350˚F oven for 20-30 minutes.
4. In the meantime, sautée the carrots, celery and onions in a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil for 5 minutes.
5. Add the chicken broth and simmer over medium heat for another 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
6. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer over low heat.
7. When the meatballs are done. remove from the cookie sheet and add to the tomato sauce.
8. Serve over cooked pasta of your liking and top with parmesan cheese.

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  1. So simple! The photo looks amazing! I will absolutely be trying this one. This week! Thanks for another excellent recipe and fun post.
    P.S. Glad you are feeling better!

  2. Nothing more comforting in my Italian household than meatballs and marinara! Love it!

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