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- Mark Twain

Spaghetti and Meatballs


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic spaghetti and meatballs can take hours to make, and recipes usually call for a long list of ingredients. To help speed things up without losing any flavor, we added a secret ingredient to our meatballs: pesto. The pesto eliminates the need for garlic, cheese, and even egg yolk, which are standards in meatball recipes. With just a sprinkling of salt and pepper and some bread crumbs (supercrispy panko), meatballs are ready to go.

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Recipe

Start the meatballs in a cold skillet so there is no need for oil and decrease the grease. Brown the meatballs to provide the sauce a big boost of flavor. Once the meatballs are browned, add jarred sauce and simmer the meatballs until cooked through. Meatloaf mix, which is available at most supermarkets, is a combination of equal parts ground beef, pork, and veal. If you can’t find meatloaf mix, you can substitute equal parts 90 percent lean ground beef and ground pork. Use a12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid for this recipe.

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Process

Using your hands, mix meatloaf mix, pesto, panko, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl until uniform. Lightly shape mixture into 18 meat­balls (scant ¼ cup each).

Place meatballs in 12-inch nonstick skillet and place skillet on burner. Cook meatballs over medium-high heat, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add sauce to skillet and bring mixture to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 table­spoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot.

Add several large spoonfuls of sauce (without meatballs) to pasta and toss to combine. Adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed and season with salt and pepper to taste. Evenly divide pasta among serving bowls, top with remaining sauce and meatballs, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve.

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Sauce

Tomato sauce is a staple of Italian American cooking, and though we usu­ally prefer to make our own from canned or fresh tomatoes, some nights call for a quick dinner of pasta and jarred sauce. Though tomato sauce can be fairly simple-consisting of tomatoes, oil, and spices-choosing a jar from the supermarket is not. We narrowed the options by eliminating those containing cheese, meat, vegetables, cream, or wine and focusing on simple sauces.

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Recipe Serves 4 – 6

1½ pounds meatloaf mix
2/3 cup prepared basil pesto
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
25-ounces of pasta sauce 1 pound spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese

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