If you don’t love meatballs I’m not sure we can be friends because I love them. I could eat them every day. I wasn’t always like this I’ll admit. I used to eat the meatballs I was served, but they weren’t anything I would talk about once the meal was done. Generally they were a little dry and the sauce was a little watery, but I figured that’s just how meatballs were and to get over it. Oh how wrong I was. Meatballs can be moist. Sauce can be rich and filling and all of this can be made in your very own home no local Italian restaurant necessary. Apparently Ina Garten knows about her meatballs because these were good. very good. Of course I putzed about with the recipe because that is what I do, but the base was there and it made me love meatballs which is a wondering thing to love especially during the long cold months of winter (not that we really deal with that here).
Meatballs and Sauce
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground lamb or veal
1 pound ground beef
1 1/4 cups fresh white bread crumbs (about 5 slices, crusts removed)
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 extra-large egg, beaten
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup good red wine
1 (14-ounce) can pureed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan
Place the ground meats, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, onion powder, egg, and warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have about 15 meatballs.
Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.
*This recipe does not make a ton of sauce so if you’re one of those saucy people (hahahaha) feel free to double it.
Source: Adapted from Ina Garten