Thursday, May 8


Growing up I only ever had spaghetti made with a deer meat sauce. Beef was a rarity around our home place. Unlike many, I had to acquire a taste for beef (rather than deer). Literally, I had never had spaghetti with meatballs until last year when Sam requested it for dinner one night. 

After digging up a couple recipes online (Martha Stewart and Simply Recipes to be exact), I set out to make this classic dish. Low-and-Behold! It's super easy, and doesn't take much longer to prepare the meatballs than it does for your sauce to simmer. 

Add this little recipe to your weeknight rotation, and your husband will know for sure it was you who hung the moon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:

2 tbs olive oil
1 onion
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes
fresh basil

Ingredients for the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef (at least 16 percent fat)
2/3 cup milk 
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
About 1/2 cup of flour for dusting
1/3 cup olive oil

This recipe makes about four servings, but can easily be doubled. 

To make the sauce:
Start with your sauce as it will simmer while you prepare the meatballs. I used a regular pot as I wasn't going to use all my sauce for these meatballs, but I recommend starting out in a large saute pan you can add the meatballs to directly (and less dishes to wash!). 

After thinly slicing up your onion, add it and the oil to your pot and saute about 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Pour in your can of crushed tomatoes, stir, and bring to a simmer about 5 more minutes. Then add your seasoning: salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover your pot and let simmer on low, stirring occasionally. Right before you add your meatballs, toss in your chopped fresh basil.

To make the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, eggs, salt, parsley, oregano, black pepper, garlic cloves and the breadcrumbs. Mix it well with your hands until it barely combines. Don't overwork the mixture or it will become tough. You may have some discernible bits in the mix; better that than overworked meatballs.


Form the meatballs (you may want to wet your hands so they stick together better). A traditional size for this sort of meatball is 2-3 inches across. Once you roll the meatball in your hands, roll it in the flour to give it a good coating.

Once all the meatballs are formed, heat olive oil in a large skillet (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on at least two sides. Don't worry about the center getting cooked through, as you will finish these in the sauce.

Once all the meatballs are browned, you can then arrange them in the sauce. Turn each meatball around in the sauce to coat. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the sauce and pasta or crusty bread. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan.