Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs... Talk about real comfort food! I never really used to be a fan of anything involving ground meat. I guess as I've grown older my tastes have changed as well. I simply adore this dish. It's not all that complicated and the taste... Oh, the taste... Sinfully delicious! Meat, tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil all slow simmered together. Yum!

I've heard that the tenderness to a meatball lies in adding bread to the ground meat. In particular, bread soaked in milk. The milk will help tenderize the meat as well as add a certain richness in the background. I have certainly noticed a big difference since I started doing it!

FYI, here's another great one to get the kids involved with. They'd love to make the meatballs for you! Alright, here's my recipe for meatballs...

Ground beef/chicken/turkey - 1 lb
Red onion - 2
Garlic - 5 cloves
Green chillies - 8 or to taste
Basil - 1/4 cup of chopped leaves
Canned tomatoes (sauce or ground peeled tomatoes) - 28 oz can
Tomato paste - 2 tbsp
Red chili flakes - 1 tbsp or to taste
Egg - 1
Bread slices - 2 soaked in milk and then squeezed out
Sugar - 1 tsp
Parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp, plus extra to sprinkle on top
Black pepper
Olive oil


1. To make the meatballs, grate 1 onion in a bowl. Add ground meat, egg, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, half of the basil leaves, 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese, the bread(soaked in milk and squeezed out), salt, and pepper to taste. Combine the mixture together using your hands. Form balls slightly larger than golf balls out of the meat.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Brown the meatballs in batches and keep aside. Browned meatballs:

3. Now to make the sauce, add 1 chopped onion, the green chillies, and chili flakes to the olive oil remaining in the pan that the meatballs were browned in. Once the onions are browned, add the garlic and fry lightly.

4. Next, add the tomato paste and cook the raw smell out. Now, add the canned tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil.

5. Once the sauce has come to a boil, carefully add the browned meatballs back into the pot along with any drippings that might have accumulated as they cooled. Reduce the heat to simmer.

6. Let the sauce cook for 20-30 minutes. Now, check for thickness and seasoning. Adjust seasonings as necessary and allow to thicken a bit if needed. Add the rest of the chopped basil at the very end of cooking (i.e., as you turn the sauce off).

7. Serve over cooked spaghetti and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


lavi said...

hi kalai..just came across ur blog from ur comment on indira's website. nice to see poondu and chilli chutney on ur blog..

Kalai said...

Thanks a lot, lavi! I really appreciate it. Pls do try the recipes when you get a chance... More to come!!