Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is no ordinary spaghetti. 

It all started two nights ago. It was just getting dark out and I was sitting down with my two friends for our feast on the table. It just so happens that these two friends are dating and kind of, sometimes (okay always) make me feel a little sad and lonely inside for not having a person to share my food with. 

But I told them about how to make pasta. And then I said, "we should make it!" and they looked at me as if I had 100 heads. 

I tried to convince them it really wasn't so hard. They laughed.  We continued to munch on our food happily that night but I knew that pasta making would be our future.

And so I made some dough and invited them over.  At first, I remembered I had this butter roasted tomato sauce that I knew I wanted to try out. And then I thought I would make my favorite eggplant ragú sauce. But then, and I am not kidding I was mid run in the midst of all this, I decided I needed meatballs. Maybe it was because I was running and felt the need for some protein but I couldn't just have turkey meatballs, nor pre-made meatballs. I needed to make the meatballs. So, in the midst of my run (okay, I was on a hill so the going was slow) I was looking up meatball recipes and googling "the worlds best meatball recipe technique".

Does anyone else do this? 

And so I got home, showered, popped on my bike and peddled to whole foods. Note to self: It starts to get dark out in September and biking at night without a helmet and a bag full of groceries is NOT safe. Oops!

But anyways, I avoided a few nearly fatal collisions and blissfully arrived at my kitchen ready to get cooking. This recipe I am sure you could make in all of 5 minutes if you don't care about things like fresh sourdough pasta, hand formed sage and thyme meatballs in an oven roasted tomato garlic sauce. But I do care, and I think you should too!


Sourdough Pasta Dough (serves 4)

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup of sourdough starter

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a stand mixer and then knead for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and tacky. 
  2. brush the outside with oil and wrap in plastic wrap. If you wont be using it within about 8 hours I would put it in the refrigerator. Just besure to take it out a few hours before you want to use it to let it come back to room temp. 
  3. Roll and cut as you would like for pasta! (I did it to the second to thinnest setting and small strand

 

Oven Roasted Tomato and Meatball Sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients

Sage and Thyme Meatballs: 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I toasted old bread under the broiler for 5 minutes and then blended it) 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/3 cup whole milk 
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan 
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme 
  • 1 tsp fresh sage 
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated

Sauce: 

  • 1 can whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh basil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large dutch oven  or cast iron pan, lightly brown the onions in some olive oil. For the richest flavor allow it to do so for as long as possible (almost until caramelized so about 1 hour, but if you don't have time for that at least 20 minutes)
  2. While the onions are sizzling away, make the meatballs: Place all the ingredients into your stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment until well combined
  3. When the onions are done, add the entire can of tomatoes (including juice) and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender blend the sauce to desired consistency (I always leave a few tomato and onion chunks). 
  4. Form the meat balls into lightly pressed balls and place into the simmering sauce. Transfer to oven and cook for 40 minutes. Do not touch the meatballs or sauce for the first 20 minutes. After that, lightly stir around the sauce once until the meatballs are coated in sauce and are done cooking. 
  5.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and add fresh pasta. Cook until it all rises to the top but is a bit under done. (takes a total of about 1 minute). Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Take the meatballs out of the oven, add the spaghetti to the sauce and toss to combine. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.