Thursday, November 6, 2014

Recipe Feature - Classic Beef Meatballs & Spaghetti

Hello wonderful people!

Sorry I have neglected my blog, yet again. I need to be better about this lol. Anyway, as an apology, I have decided to share a recipe that was a recent hit with my family! It's a classic dish: spaghetti and meatballs! BUT this is one of the best meatball recipes I have ever tried. I modified a little here and there (modifications are in green), but I pretty much followed the instructions as is.

Classic Beef Meatballs (Source)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef (I used 85% lean ground beef from whole foods)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried) (I used 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 4 cups Classic Tomato Sauce (I made my own simple marinara; read below!)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil into a 9-by 13-inch baking dish; using your hand, evenly coat entire surface. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together beef, ricotta, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red-pepper flakes, and fennel until fully incorporated. Roll mixture into firmly packed 1 1/2-inch balls.
  3. Place meatballs in prepared baking dish, taking care to line them up snugly so that they are touching one another in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. Transfer baking dish to oven. Bake until meatballs are firm and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball reads 165 degrees. (I just baked them for about 16-18 minutes)
  4. Meanwhile, heat Classic Tomato Sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
    * OR you can make a quick marinara if you have less time
    My Marinara Sauce
    32 oz  organic tomato sauce
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    pinch of salt and pepper
    - heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
    - saute the onions and garlic in the oil, until slightly browned.
    - pour in the tomato sauce and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
    - simmer for at least 15 minutes...and you're DONE!
  5. Remove meatballs from oven and carefully drain excess grease from pan. Pour heated sauce over meatballs and return to oven; cook for 15 minutes more. Serve. (I served mine on a bed of angel hair pasta!)

I really enjoyed this recipe! The meatballs were incredibly tender and fully cooked through. I found that using the Italian seasoning (instead of oregano) was fine, esp if you have that on hand instead! I served mine with pasta, and it was perfect. I can't wait to make this again and maybe try a pork/beef combo? If any of you try this, let me know! 


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