Friday, January 30, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Well, due to popular demand, I'll do my best to share with you. I do not adhere very well to measurements, so sorry if the vagueness is confusing. I just sort of eyeball things, and go with my gut. You know, it's all about the love.

Last night was spaghetti and meatballs. No pictures, but it was really good. Here's my version of how my Grandmom taught me to make excellent red sauce:

Buy some beef or pork ribs, just a few. Cheap ones are fine. Maybe two or three. Salt, pepper, and garlic them.

In a large saucepot, heat some olive oil, and then sear the ribs, till they're nicely browned. Turn down the heat and saute with the ribs (in the oil):

1 onion, chopped
3 (or more, or less, depending on your taste) garlic cloves

You want translucent onions, but not burnt garlic, so keep 'em stirring around. (I usually put the onion in first to give it a head start, and then add the garlic.)

Now, add one small can tomato paste and one can water. Mash it all up and incorporate it.

Add 3 large cans crushed tomatoes.

Then, add:

2 TBS sugar? (I never measure)
2 bay leaves
a bunch of Italian Seasoning (I probably use 2-3 TBS, but who knows, really. Knock yourself out.)
a pinch of fennel

Now, stir it all together, cover it up, and let it cook for hours. At least 3-4. I like it cooked all day. Stir it from time to time, and at the end, take out the ribs. The meat will be falling off the bone and will be a delicious pre-dinner reward. It's my favorite part.

Meatballs a la Grandmom, but with a touch of Jenna (because I didn't have ground beef)

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground bulk pork sausage
1 cup? seasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup water
Italian seasoning ? (who knows how much, maybe 1-2 TBS)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Some fresh, or dried parsley
salt and pepper

Mash it all together, form it into balls (mine were the size of ping pong balls) and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for, I don't know, until they're done. Maybe one piano lesson and a few minutes. ? This makes a nicely crowded cookie sheet full, but I'm not sure how many that is. (See how exacting I am?)

Then, after taking the ribs out, I put the meatballs into the sauce pan and let them hang out together for about an hour until I made the pasta.

So, for the lasagna I made last week, just make the same red sauce, without the meatballs, obviously. I browned together a pound of ground beef and a pound of bulk pork sausage and then mixed about 16 oz. ricotta cheese with 2 cups mozzarella and a bunch of parmesan with an egg and some parsley, salt, and pepper. Layer the noodles, then the cheese, then the meat, then the sauce. Two hearty layers, top with noodles, sauce, and then some shredded mozzarella. Bake it for about an hour.

(Why do they give you so many lasagna noodles in a box? Has anyone ever used that many for one lasagna? What a waste, if you ask me. I guess I could make two, but freezer space is at a premium over here. But, I digress.)

How's that? Don't forget the love. And the salad.


Annette Lyon said...

I am suddenly very hungry. I'll have to try your red sauce. Sounds awesome!

Abby said...

Sounds yummy! Looks like Grams' red sauce isn't far off from my own! Awww I can just feel the "lover boys and lover girls" getting ready to spill from my lips. She's so awesome.

I've always complained about the lasagna noodles too! You always end up with like 5 or 6 leftover and it's like..ugh. They should make the pans taller.

Sarah said...

Sounds super yummy! I need to make a dish for a potluck we're having tomorrow with our neighbors and was considering making lasagna. I've always used the ready to bake noodles but am wondering if the ones you gotta boil are better? Any idea? Anyway, I may borrow your lasagna recipe for my potluck. The kids would prefer something else though, so we'll see.

Julie Wright said...

I love this! Thanks for the recipe!

family said...

That rocks! Thanks for the great red sauce recipe. I am excited to try that one Sunday afternoon!!!

YogaNana said...

When you have nine kids it's possible to use all the lasagna ... :o)