Spaghetti and Meatballs
Here’s a quick, easy and delicious Spaghetti and Meatball recipe to add to your weeknight repertoire. The meatballs are tender and flavorful — and you’ll love that they’re baked instead of fried. To cut down on cooking time, I cheat and use a good quality store bought sauce, such as Rao’s, but if you have a homemade sauce that you like, by all means use it. Enjoy!
Spaghetti & Meatballs
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (plus more for serving)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1-1/2 pounds ground "meatloaf mix" (approximately equal parts ground beef, pork and veal)
- 3/4 cup dried Italian style bread crumbs (such as Progresso)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (plus more for serving)
- Large jar (32 oz) good quality Marinara sauce (such as Rao's)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Set rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and water. Add meat, breadcrumbs and Parmesan and mix until just combined (your hands are the best tool). Do not overwork it.
- Using your hands, take about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture (about the size of a golf ball) at a time and gently roll into balls. Place meatballs on ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and use a metal spatula to turn meatballs (they will stick a bit but should release easily when you scrape under them with metal spatula). Put back in oven and cook another 10 minutes, until meatballs are nicely browned.
- In the meantime, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer in a large sauté pan. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary (I usually add a healthy pinch of sugar and freshly ground black pepper). When the meatballs are browned, transfer them to the pan with tomato sauce, leaving the fat behind. Cover loosely with foil and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the flavors marry and the meatballs are cooked through. Keep warm until ready to toss with pasta.
- While meatballs are simmering, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook al dente. Drain, then toss with sauce and meatballs; garnish with fresh basil and serve. Pass with grated Parmesan.
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