Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Homemade Marinara

This is my boyfriend's absolute favorite dish and we made it together for his birthday dinner this year. We have used different recipes for spaghetti and meatballs, but over the years we developed and perfected our own recipe and method. You'll never want to order spaghetti and meatballs from a restaurant again.


Extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. basil, julienned
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs plus extra for coating
1 1/2 tbsp. oregano, chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 lb. hot italian sausage
2/3 lb. 85/15 ground beef
2/3 lb. ground veal
1 lb. spaghetti
Crushed red pepper
1 egg
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Coat very large pan or dutch oven with olive oil and heat over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of the dry red wine. Add San Marzano tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add oregano and continue to simmer.

In a large bowl, mix sausage, beef, veal, egg, onion and carrot mixture, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, basil, pinch of crushed red pepper, 2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Form into golf ball sized meat balls. On a plate or in a baking dish mix 1/4 cup bread crumbs with 1 tsp. kosher salt. Roll meatballs in the breadcrumb mixture. Heat canola oil in large sauce pot over medium high heat. When oil is hot add meatballs but don't crowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary. Brown meatballs on all sides. When meatballs are browned, add to the marinara sauce. Let meatballs simmer in the marinara sauce for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If your tomatoes are bitter, it might be necessary to add a little sugar.)

Meanwhile, bring salted water to boil in a large sauce pot. Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente. Serve immediately with meatballs and sauce.

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