Humble Spaghetti and Meatballs6
- 1/4 cup diced pancetta
- 1 pound ground beef 85% lean
- 1 pound ground veal
- 2 pieces of bread white or sourdough
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 cloves of garlic finely diced or grated
- 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 teaspoons IEK Signature Spice
- 2 teaspoons IEK Burger and Steak Blend
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Sauce and Pasta:
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 28 oz cans of san Marzano whole tomatoes
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 package dry spaghetti
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Italian Parsley
You will be cooking your meatballs and sauce in the same pan. Make sure it is plenty big enough to fit both items together as the meatballs will poach in the sauce. I like to use a large [Le Cruset] like this one.
- First, in a large dutch oven or bottom heavy skillet, add in your diced pancetta and render down the fat on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure it is not burning. Once the pancetta has rendered, turn the stove off and using a spoon take out the pieces of pancetta and allow them to cool in a small bowl. Leave the rendered fat in the dutch oven though! We will be using the fat to cook our meatballs!
- You can work on begin working on your meatball mixture as the pancetta cooks to save time as well!
- Place the 2 pieces of bread on a large plate and cover them with the cup of milk. Allow the milk to soak into the bread for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, cut the crust off the bread and chop the milk soaked bread into small pieces that is almost paste like. This will be your breadcrumbs for the meatball mixture.
- Gently mix together with your hands until incorporated. Try not to over mix as I can make the meatballs tough.
- Shape the meatballs and set them on a large plate. I like to use about 2-3 tablespoons per meatballs. This recipe should make between 20-24 meatballs
- In the same dutch oven or pan that the , add 1 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the rendered pancetta fat.
- Turn the stove onto medium high heat. Then begin to sear your meatballs, about 2 minutes on each side. After each side has a light brown sear, place back on the large plate and repeat until all meatballs have been seared.
Once all meatballs are seared and set aside we will work on our simple sauce!
- Lower the heat of the dutch oven to medium heat. There should be plenty of oil in the pan to sauté the onions, but feel free to add a little more olive oil if you see fit.
- Add in the chopped onion and garlic into the dutch oven. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Then deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up all the yummy cooked pieces on the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to cook out for 3 minutes and then add in the 2 cans of san Marzano tomatoes.
- I like to break the tomatoes up with my hand as I add them into the pan. They will continue to break down as the cook.
- Season the tomato sauce with 2 teaspoons of salt and then lower heat to low. Leave the lid askew on the pot of tomato sauce.
- Allow the sauce to cook for 30-45 minutes. Stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes or so. Be sure to taste it as it cooks as well to see if it needs more salt.
- After 45 minutes, add the meatballs back into the sauce. Allow the meatballs to cook for another 25 minutes on low heat. They should be fully submerged in the sauce.
- Cook your spaghetti when you are ready to eat! Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water on the side.
- Add the spaghetti back into the pot that you boiled it in and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and a little reserved pasta water.
- Then add about 3/4 cups worth of the tomato sauce into the pasta and give it a good stir. The sauce should just barely coat the pasta.
- Serve the pasta in a big bowls and top with 3 meatballs and tomato sauce. Top with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese and Italian parsley.