I Love Meatballs, to me they are the perfect food. You can prepare them in so many ways. I especially love them when paired with a tomato sauce and pasta.
This is one of my many recipes for Spaghetti and Meatballs. The meatballs are prepared first by frying them first on the outside so they brown up and seal in the flavour and moistness. The sauce is a thin sauce but oh so silky and sweet. It’s a lighter tasting dish and perfect for a beautiful sunny day.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs (any bread crumbs works)
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup of parsley
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- flour for dusting the meatballs
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes or 12 diced ripe Roma tomatoes
- 2-3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 large sweet onion (chopped)
- 1-2 large carrots (chopped)
- 2-3 celery stalks (chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon of dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- diced green onion
- olive oil
In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef and pork. In a food processor add the panko bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse together till combined. Add the mixture to the mixing bowl with the beef and pork. Add the egg and chicken stock. Combine the ingredients together and store covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Remove meatballs from the refrigerator and form them into golf ball sized meatballs and set aside on a baking sheet, sprinkle flour on them, turn and do the other side as well, this step adds a great texture, it will also help in thickening the sauce. In a large sauce pan heat up the olive oil. In batches begin to fry up the meatballs, when browned on the outside but still raw in the middle remove them and set aside and finish off the remaining, you may have to add more oil and it will be absorbed. Once all the meatballs a done and set aside. We and begin the sauce.
To prepare the sauce we use a large pot and add a splash of olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables and garlic until softened. Add the bay leaves, followed by the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then set to simmer. Let it simmer for about an hour, it should reduce by about half. If the sauce too thin for you add a small slurry of cornstarch and continue to simmer for another 15 mins. At this time I like to remove the bay leaves. Use a handheld blender and process the sauce until smooth. You can leave it chunky but i like it pureed.
Add the meatballs into the sauce and let it simmer for another 1-2 hours if you can, 20 mins is more than enough to to cook the meatballs the rest of the way. The meatballs will flavour the sauce even more.
The sauce when done will look quite reddish orange, it will be sweet from the vegetables and savory from the meatballs, when served over pasta it coats it in a silky smooth way that it so amazing.
When plating the dish, ladle the sauce and meatballs over the pasta. Sprinkle the parmesan over, then the green onions and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil at the end.