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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wednesday: Spaghetti madness!!!!!!!!  Who doesn't love spaghetti and meatballs?

I just wrote up my meatball recipe and will post it and link it here soon.  

Basically, 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 bulk Italian sausage mushed up with crumbled saltine crackers, tomato paste, eggs and spices.  The real secret ingredients are about a tablespoon of fennel seed and crushed red peppers.  It gives them a nice sweet/spicy flavor.  My protip for meatballs: Thrice cooked.  Yes, thrice. Pan sear until toasty on the outside, then bake at 325f for fifteen minutes and finish by simmering in sauce for another fifteen minutes or so.  This way they get that nice pan seared crust, then have a chance to bake out the fat, and finally, replace it with moisture from the sauce.  Perfect every time.

I also make my own sauce.  Heat a bay leaf in a pan of olive oil.  Mince together onion, garlic, carrot and celery and caramelize over medium heat.  Add a large can of diced tomatoes, and a small can or tomato sauce.  Add diced zucchini and mushrooms and let simmer for 15 minutes or so.  You can add ground beef just after the veggies caramelize for a meat sauce as well, but I prefer a lighter sauce if I am doing meatballs too.  And the sauce has enough veggie power that none are needed on the side for this meal.   Although, this pairs nicely with steamed asparagus on the side.

Cost: $12 or so total, however this makes aout two dozen meatballs, half of which I freeze for later use.
Total time: About an hour start to finish
Difficulty: 4 (the multiple cooking of the meatballs takes some getting used to, you don't want to over cook them at either of the first two stages.

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