What is one of the all time greatest comfort foods? Easy answer, spaghetti and meatballs. It is a classic that everyone (unless your vegetarian of course) should know how to make, and make right. For this recipe I added in all my favorite components of good meatballs – two kinds of ground meat (not too lean), fresh bread crumbs, plenty of herbs, light on the eggs so they aren’t dense, a nice browning before simmering in sauce for added depth of flavor, and of course a good marinara sauce to cover, that’s not too thick or thin and that won’t be labeled as bland. This hearty dish is one that will satisfy everyone at the dinner table and will likely become a recipe you’ll turn to time and time again.
If you don’t have or want to purchase fresh herbs you could use dry in place of the fresh, simply use 1/3 the amounts if switching to dry. Enjoy!
Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs*
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 lb ground beef (preferably 80/20)
- 3/4 lb ground pork (preferably 80/20)
- 1 large egg , whisked until frothy
- 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese , plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried marjarom
- 3/4 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste (I used 1 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Cooked spaghetti noodles , for serving
In a small mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs and buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened, let rest 10 minutes (now is a good time to gather other ingredients, chop herbs and shred cheese). To a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, pork, bread crumb mixture, egg, shredded Parmesan, 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh basil, 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley, oregano, marjoram, crushed fennel seeds, onion powder, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss mixture with hands just until evenly distributed (don't overwork it). With lightly oiled hands, shape meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (you should get nearly 2 dozen).
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in about 1/2 of the meatballs (don't overcrowd pot) and brown on all sides, rotating to next side after about 2 minutes. Drain meatballs on a plate lined with several paper towels. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
In a separate large pot, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 4 - 5 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, 3 Tbsp fresh basil, 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, fresh rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a bubble, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add in meatballs and fully submerge in sauce. Simmer mixture, gently stirring occasionally, 45 minutes - 1 hour. Serve warm over cooked spaghetti.
*I used 2 day old french bread, cut the crusts off (and discarded) then tossed the white portion in the food processor and ground to crumbs.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy