Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs

I've been on a kick lately for telling a story completely unrelated to the food.  Well, hold on to your hats because here is another story.  And since I am boycotting Facebook, this is my social interaction and my place to tell stories that might make you laugh.  When I was growing up, my oldest brother was a typical oldest child.  He would make all the rules.  He would flip a double-sided coin with my other brother and I and say that whoever got heads got to be the ruler and the others were his slaves.  Luckily, despite all the slavery I endured, they were both awesome older brothers that I still love and adore.  Well, the oldest one asked me to play Monopoly with him and his friend once.  I reluctantly agreed.  Well, as per usual, I am losing terribly and about to go bankrupt.  However, instead of letting me quit, he gets out a pen and paper to keep track of my debts.  I'm sure this was all great fun for him and his friend.  Not only did they tally my debt, but for every 1000 I was in the hole, I would have to make them "sammiches" or in his world, Grilled Cheese sandwiches.  I don't remember how many 1000s I was in debt, but I do recall making them quit a few grilled cheese sandwiches.  Now, my gameboard-hating husband busts out of nowhere last week, "I want to play Monopoly.  Can I go buy it?"  I reluctantly agreed.  We played that night, and sure enough, I was going down, down, down.  I landed on one of his huge monopolies with a hotel, and I declared, "I'm done."  He tried to get me to keep playing, but I said, "No sammiches for you!"  There is no way that I'm enslaving myself to making grilled cheese sandwiches for another monopoly-loving sammich-loving male in my life. 

However, maybe if I could convince him to let me go into debt to make this spaghetti and meatball recipe, I'd be willing to give the game another try.  I love spaghetti and meatballs- especially when it is sauce and meatballs from scratch.  Good grief.  This was a great recipe.  It's actually two different recipes from the food network.  Thanks Emeril for the sauce and Tyler Florence for the meatballs.  You're both grand!  These meatballs are behemoth.  They are about the size of your fist and baked while covered with sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Angels I have not heard on high, but I'm pretty sure that if these meatballs could sing, I'd be hearing them loud and clear while singing heavenly praises.  I'd say this recipe is worth every minute it takes to make it.

 Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs
source: meatballs- Tyler Florence and sauce- Emeril Lagasse

olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t parsley
1/2 c milk
2 slices firm white bread, crust removed (I used regular bread and toasted it a bit to dry it out)
3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground pork
1 egg
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
mozzarella cheese


1 T olive oil
3/4 c chopped onion
1 t minced garlic
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t crushed pepper (don't omit this!)
1 t dried oregano
1 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t basil
1/4 t ground black pepper
28 oz whole peeled tomatoes
15 oz tomato sauce
3 T tomato paste
1 c water
1/2 t sugar
1/4 c parmesan cheese, freshly shredded (you can use the store-bought sprinkling stuff, if you'd like)

For the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, basil, and black pepper.  Cook for about five minutes. 

Pour out the whole tomatoes in a bowl and squeeze to break them into smaller pieces.  Add these, the tomato sauce, and tomato paste into the pan with the onion mixture.  Stir.  Add the water, sugar, and parmesan to the pot.  Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to medium-low.  Let it simmer for 45 minutes while you make the meatballs.  Stir it occasionally. 

For the meatballs:
Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the onion, garlic, and parsley.  Saute for about five minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

 While the onions are cooking, place the firm white bread in a bowl and cover it with milk.  Let this sit for about 5-10 minutes. 
 After it has sat for awhile, squeeze the excess milk out of the bread.  Place the bread aside and dump the remaining milk.

By the way- this was so hard for me to do.  Soggy bread has got to be one of the grossest feeling things in the world. 
 Place the two kinds of meat  in a large bowl.
 Add the onion mixture, the squeezed-out bread, the egg, the Parmesan cheese, and the salt and pepper.  Mix well
 Here is what it will look like once it is all combined. 
 While you form the meatballs, heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  You can see here how gigantic the meatballs are.  They are about 3-4 inches in diameter.  Brown them on all sides in the oil-taking about 10 minutes of cooking time.  Be very careful with them!  They are tender little guys and can fall apart easily.  I flipped mine gently using two forks. 
 Once they are browned, place them in a baking dish. 
 Top them with some sauce and mozzarella cheese.  I wish I would have used more cheese.  You all know how much I love cheese.
 Bake them (covered) in the oven for about 15-20 or until they are cooked through. 
 While they are baking, cook the spaghetti noodles (to al dente).  Drain.  Dish up the spaghetti noodles, top with some sauce.
 Place a couple huge meatballs on top of that. Sprinkle with parsley and fresh Parmesan.  I was all out.  :(
Serve with a Cesear salad and French bread.  Who needs to eat out at an italian restaraunt when there are recipes like this around?  One last thing... The best way to finish off a delicious Italian meal is to end it with Spumoni ice cream.  If you've never had Spumoni, may the Lord have mercy on your soul.  It is amazing!  They serve it at "The Old Spaghetti Factory" and it is delightful.  I served it after this meal, and we all devoured every last drop. May you be able to do the same.


  1. Amen to Facebook boycott & amen to not playing Monopoly! My son took pity on me when I was losing to him while playing Saturday night (after not playing this game for about 20 years). After landing on one of his 4 railroads about a dozen times ($200 each time, I might add) I decided: "I don't like this game." And he offered to to give all the railroads to me. Haha. Cheers to spaghetti & meatballs :)

  2. more stories! More sammiches! More lame horror movies! Nephi and I will be anxiously awaiting your next post. Hey we should get together in real life or something....