Food & Drink Magazine

Spaghetti and Meatballs

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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I have often found that it's the simple things in life which bring us the most pleasure . . . things like marmite on hot buttered toast, bread and jam, or macaroni and cheese . . .
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When I worked down South for the American family, every meal had to be a production.  There was no such thing as simple or ordinary.   Even a grilled cheese had to be something extraordinarily out of the ordinary  . . .  seriously.
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And as you can imagine with every day meals being so outrageous  . . . you can imagine how complicated things got when there was a dinner party in question, or even a simple ladies luncheon.   Every meal, every occasion, every time . . . had to impress.  Thanksgiving meant two turkeys, and about 20 side dishes to go with it, along with not one, not two, but at least three desserts.  Cooking was what I was there for, so I really shouldn't complain.  And I do love to stretch my capabilities . . . but, sometimes . . . don't you just long for something simple and unpretentious???
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I know I do!  I will admit that I enjoy a bit of fancy once in a while . . . to celebrate something special, or on holidays, but most days I do so much more enjoy simplicity.   Everything doesn't have to be complicated or terribly involved.
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It doesn't matter to me what I have for supper.  I don't need to have Filet Mignon every night, just so long as what I am having tastes good, and I have enjoyed the journey to get there.
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Dishes such as this recipe here today for Spaghetti and Meatballs are my favorite types of dishes.   With this you get the ultimate in satisfaction and flavor without having to jump through multiple hoops and using a multitude of ingredients.
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Economical.  Tasty.  Simple.  Satisfying.  Well flavored meatballs in a well flavored and simple sauce.  What more could you ask for?  The Toddster had his with mashed potatoes.  To each their own . . .
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*Spaghetti with Meatballs*Serves 4 
Simple, delicious and comforting.  There is nothing fancy here.  Just good and tasty food.
for the meatballs:1 thick slice of soft white bread, crust removed, torn into chunks4 TBS milk200g minced lean pork (1/2 pound)200g minced lean beef (1/2 pound)
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp ground cumin1/2 small onion, peeled and gratedabout 4 TBS olive oil for frying
For the sauce:2 TBS olive oil2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed a bit400g tin of chopped diced Italian tomatoes in tomato juice (14 ounces)about 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, torn2 TBS olive oil1/2 cup red wine1 TBS soft light brown sugar
pinch cloves
salt and black pepper to tasteTo serve:350g spaghetti (about 12 ounces)2 TBS buttergrated Parmesan cheese to serve  
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First make the meatballs.   Soak the bread in the milk, squashing it with your fingers until it completely breaks up.  Put your meat into a bowl along with the parsley, cinnamon, cumin, squashed bread, grated onion and 1/2 tsp salt.  Mix thoroughly with your hands.  (This is very cathartic I find.)  Shape into about 24 small balls, about the size of cherry tomatoes.   Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.  Add the meatballs and brown.  Give them a shake every few minutes so that they roll around and brown evenly all over. 
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While the meatballs are cooking make the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.   Add the garlic.  Cook until you can smell it and then dump in the tomatoes and basil.  Season with some salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes.   Add the brown sugar, cloves, some black pepper and the red wine.   Give it a good stir and then add the meatballs.   Simmer, uncovered, for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the meatballs are tender and the sauce has thickened nicely.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
Serve spooned out over hot buttered spaghetti with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese on top.   Garlic bread is nice with this too.

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