Last night's dinner was meatballs and spaghetti...except I didn't have enough spaghetti...so it was meatballs and ziti. The meatballs were great. The sauce was alright. Combined, all good. Let's get started. I roughly followed this recipe.
Ew, gross. Raw meat. Sorry veggie friends. But to make meatballs, you need some meat. I used a pound of "meatloaf" mix from the store...ground beef, veal and pork. This provides the best flavor, over straight beef or pork. I'm not fond of veal, so let's pretend it's not there. To the ground meat, I added one egg, a small handful of chopped parsley, a piece of sandwich bread that had been soaked in milk and one small/medium onion, finely diced and sauted in olive oil until caramelized, with basil and oregano (dried). Not pictured, is 1/4-1/2 cup of grated parm. Squige this all together until very well combined. Scoop the mixture out and shape into hearty ping pong sized balls. One thing I tried last night and may not be necessary...I then dredged the uncooked meatballs in seasoned flour, I was hoping for an extra crusty meatball. I don't think it made a difference, except in the mess that had to be cleaned up afterwards.
Saute the meatballs in olive oil until dark and crispy on the outside. Don't worry if the don't cook through. They will simmer in sauce later. So, pull the meatballs to a pull and start a sauce. You can make any red sauce you like. For this meal, I did one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and some more dried herbs. Oh, and a few smashed cloves of garlic. Add the meatballs back to the pan and simmer over low heat for an hour or so.
Toss cooked pasta with the sauce and plate up with a few meatballs per person. This batch made 22-24 meatballs. If you want, you can freeze the leftover meatballs and sauce for a later meal. We just packaged the leftovers up for lunch.
With dinner last night, we had a glass of the Biltmore Estate's Pinot Noir. Very tasty! We must have liked it at the tasting we attended in Asheville, NC in December, since we bought two bottles. We forgot how much we enjoyed it. A great spicy, jammy flavor with a light body. It paired nicely with meatballs and sauce.