Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This might seem an unlikely choice for a summer meal, but after a day on the water or hiking in the woods, a meal like this really hits the spot. Our older grandsons, who suffer from what we who love them call hollow leg syndrome, consume an amazing amount of food and a meal like this really helps keep their hunger at bay. This recipe is a scaled back version of one developed by Cook's Illustrated and if you have not yet tried this recipe, I hope you soon will. These are some of the best meatballs I've ever tasted and the sauce is wonderfully flavorful and robust without being heavy. Don't let the length of the ingredient list mislead you into thinking this is a difficult recipe to prepare. It most decidedly is not. The various elements of this dish can be tackled separately and put together for a final simmer just before serving. All the ingredients used here can be found in any grocery store and none of them are exotic. I suspect the use of gelatin may be puzzling to some of you, but the editors at Cook's Illustrated explain that it is used to keep the meatballs soft and tender. While I don't understand the chemistry of this, I can tell you that it works. As with all of the vacation recipes I'm featuring this month, the quantities used here can be doubled or tripled if you have a gang to feed. I do hope you'll try this version of spaghetti and meatballs. It really is delicious and I know you will enjoy it. Here's the recipe.

Spaghetti And Meatballs...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Cook's Illustrated

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large eggs, lightly beaten
12-oz. 85 percent lean ground beef
4-oz. ground pork
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped fine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cups grated onion (I used the grating blade on my food processor)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups tomato juice (bottled)
1 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Salt and ground black pepper
12 to 16-oz. spaghetti
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Granulated sugar
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1) To make meatballs: Place a wire racks in 1 foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Adjust one oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees.Combine bread crumbs and buttermilk in large bowl and let sit, mashing occasionally with fork, until a smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes.Add eggs, beef, pork, prosciutto, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, gelatin mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to bread crumb mixture. Gently mix everything with your hands until thoroughly combined. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray (or rub with olive oil). Form meatballs using about 1/4 cup of meat mixture per meatball, and space the meatballs out on the rack as you form them. You should end up with 10 to 12 meatballs. Roast until browned, about 30 minutes, rotating tray from front to back halfway through.

2) To make the sauce: While meatballs roast, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden around edges, 6 to 8 minutes.Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, wine, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

3) To complete: Remove meatballs from oven, and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Add meatballs to sauce, cover pot, and place in oven. Cook until meatballs are firm and sauce has thickened, about 1 hour.

4) Shortly before serving: Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. Drain pasta and return to cooking pot. Stir basil and parsley into sauce and adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Add a 1/2 cup of sauce to pasta and toss until lightly coated. Serve pasta from a serving bowl. Pass meatballs and remaining sauce at table with a separate bowl of Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

One Year Ago Today: Fresh Salmon Quiche

Two Years Ago Today: Banana Mousse

Three Years Ago Today: Chocolate Soup


Jenny said...

Your spaghetti and meatballs looks tasty
You can submit your spaghetti and meatballs pics on It is a food photography site where members can submit all food pictures that make readers hungry :)
I am already hungry to see these photos BTW, LOL

Priya Suresh said...

Super tempting pasta, makes me hungry..well done dear.

StephenC said...

We have trusted our appetites to Cook's many times, never resulting in disappointment. I'll bookmark this for cooler weather.

Unknown said...

This is the kind of food my son would like!! Sounds delicious, Mary and love the colour-coordinated photo too!

Penny said...

I am following closely Mary. We have crowds of people coming this summer and your recipes fit the bill perfectly. Thank you.

Tricia @ saving room for dessert said...

Spaghetti is a very satisfying and filling meal and yours look sooo good. The sauce does sound wonderful - it's going in my pile-o-recipes to try soon! Thanks Mary. Have a great Wednesday.

Cindy@NorthofWiarton said...

My backup supply of sauce is depleted, as like you, Mary, I find it handy after a busy day to enjoy a meal like this. Quick and Good. Have a fantastic day.

mari carmen said...

Me gusta mucho Mari,yo las albóndigas las hago separadas,con los espaguetis tienen que estar muy ricos.Besos guapa

Ellen B Cookery said...

There's never a wrong time for spaghetti and meatballs. This looks like a lovely recipe. With good faith in mind, I have nominated you with the Illuminating Blogger Award on my post today. I hope you don't mind.

Unknown said...

You can never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs in my book! I love the review you give this recipe too. I normally like to stick with my families recipe, this definitely sounds like it's worth a try. The picture is making my mouth water.....

Kim said...

It makes a lot of sense to me to eat this kind of meal in summer (you just have to see what i published today to understand)! These spaghettis looks good!!!

April said...

Yep, this is my favorite meatball recipe too! Except I use soft white bread torn in pieces instead of panko, and skip the gelatin. :) mmmmm, looks yummy!!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my comfort foods. Cooks Illustrated always gets it right.

Barbara said...

I like the meatball ingredients, Mary. I read someplace mixing ground beef with other ground meats makes for a much better meatball. The buttermilk addition is one I've never used, but then I'd never heard of gelatin either. Looks heavenly, Mary.
Have a wonderful week!

Suzie said...

The gelatin is an odd ingredient but, if you say it works I'll take your word for it. I love spaghetti and meatballs and don't make it enough. I'm going to try this one though :)

Vicki Bensinger said...

Besides hamburgers my husbands favorite dish is spaghetti with meatballs. Oddly enough i feel like I've never mastered a good meatball. This weekend while we are here in the mountains of Colorado he is doing the Double-Triple Bypass, a biking event covering 3 mountain passes on one day, then going back again the next day. This recipe will be the perfect dish to have made when he gets home. He's usually thoroughly exhausted and needs lots of carb loading. I can make this on Saturday and heat it up on Sunday.

I'm excited to try this. I hope he loves it. Thanks for sharing.

Jeannie said...

THat looks so delicious Mary, would love to give this a try!

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine said...

Dear Mary, This sounds delicious. It is a little warm here though and I am trying to prepare meals that do not need to cook in the oven.
I could always fry the meatballs though.
Have a beautiful day. Blessings dearest. Catherine xo

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This is one of my husbands favorite meals and I just realized we haven't had it in a while. Looks delicious. I will have to try this recipe next time I make spaghetti and meatballs.

Juliana said...

Oh Mary, your meatballs look and sound delicious...prosciutto and parmesan cheese...yum!
Perfect meal :) Hope you are enjoying your week!

Sue/the view from great island said...

There must be something in the air...I'm craving meatballs and am working on a batch as we speak. Have fun with the grandkids...the one with the hollow leg is sure lucky to have you as grandma!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I've seen this recipe from Cook's, Mary, but haven't tried it. I'm so glad to hear your review of the meatballs. I know your grandsons must adore your cooking!! The blueberry french toast sounds so good, as do the cookies you shared and the tortilla pie. They all sound like winners to me. You share the BEST recipes!!

Rambling Tart said...

Pork, beef AND prosciutto?!! How absolutely heavenly. :-) And what a clever and unusual way to keep the meatballs tender. Brilliant. :-)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Mary - This was hands down my husband's favorite meal. Just looking at that plate makes me wistful.

Debbie said...

My very favorite meal to eat and to cook. I've been making my version forever but this recipe sounds wonderful. I will HAVE to try the picture too...

hobby baker Kelly said...

This is a meal that no one in my family would ever turn down no matter the weather. And those meatballs sound exceptionally tasty. The buttermilk and gelatin are definitely new but I'm all for getting more gelatin in my joints!

David said...

Mary, The recipe for the meatballs is just great...beef, pork, a bit of spice and prosciutto! Nice touch... We buy our proscuitto from Benton's store here in east Tennessee(also on-line w/products used by chef's from coast to coast). I love spaghetti and meatballs no matter what time of the year it is! Thanks and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Teena said...

mmm....delicious!!!! You made me hungry ;)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
restaurant Fort Lauderdale said...

I really love this dish! It is so delicious, satisfying and very quick to prepare. The meat balls may require some work but these are definitely worth it. This has actually become a staple food in our home. My mom will make bags of meatballs that are then frozen making it readily available in vase we make dishes like spaghetti with meatballs. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will surely suggest this for dinner, even though we just had it a day ago!

Faye said...

This recipe never gets boring.

Related Posts with Thumbnails