Spaghetti and Meatballs

The husband comes from an Italian family.  In fact, they have a fantastic pasta sauce made with all kinds of different meats and the most tender meatballs I’ve ever tasted.  It is truly delicious, and very labor intensive.  As much as I’d like to learn how to make his family’s sauce, I just don’t have time for that at this point.  We finally found a jarred sauce that he could tolerate, but I finally decided it was time to find a homemade sauce that would work.  Annie’s Eats to the rescue!!  You must check out her blog…she has some amazing things on there, and her picture for this recipe is fantastic.  I tried this recipe almost a year ago, and haven’t looked back.  I usually double the recipe and freeze it, which works great for busy weeknights.  Definitely give this a try!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

For the sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz.) can tomato puree
2 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
4 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. sugar
1 cup of water (or more) 

For the meatballs:
1 cup bread crumbs, divided
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 cup grated Romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 lb. ground beef, pork and veal mixture

For serving:
Freshly cooked spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Minced fresh basil

Directions: 
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pot and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and sugar.  Add water to thin the sauce out to your desired consistency (I would estimate that I add about 1/2 cup).  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for at least 2 hours. 

To make the meatballs, in a medium mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs with the milk.  Let the bread crumbs soak for 10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.  Form the mixture into meatballs (I usually get about 20-25 out of one batch).  Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce about 45 minutes before the sauce will be finished cooking.  Cover and let simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 35-45 minutes.  

Transfer freshly cooked pasta to serving dishes.  Top each serving with sauce and meatballs.  Garnish with shredded Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.

Source:  From Annie’s Eats, who adapted it from Brown Eyed Baker

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