Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I watched an episode of David Rocco's Dolce Vita the other day where he made five different kinds of meatballs. The beef meatballs were made with ricotta cheese and sun dried tomatoes and braised in a smooth and silky tomato sauce. I decided it was a "must try" dish so on tonight's menu: simple spaghetti and meatballs a la David Rocco, served with Terra Breads Italian Cheese Bread.


1lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
10 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 egg
1 cup parmigiana cheese, freshly grated
1 glove garlic, minced
handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Use you hands to get all the ingredients blended and evenly distributed.

2. Shape meat into small balls, about the size of a golf ball, then pat down to form an oval. This will allow for even cooking.

3. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add meatballs to pan and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. We're just looking for a quick sear to brown the meat, not to cook the meat.

4. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside until ready to use.

Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

1. Using the same pot that was used to cook the meatballs, add a bit more oil and heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium.

2. Add partially cooked meatballs to the pot and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

3. Serve sauce and meatballs over cooked spaghetti noodles. Top with more shredded parmigiana cheese and fresh chopped parsley.


Save a small amount of the uncooked meatball mix for soup! I used about 3/4 of the mix to make meatballs for this recipe and with the reserved 1/4 mix, I rolled small meatballs (large gumball size) and baked them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. When cooled, I placed in a seal-able container and refrigerated until I was ready to make my soup.

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