Monday, May 23, 2011

Recipe #4 - Meatballs/Home made sauce

Woo hoo!  Let's talk about chaos for a moment here. 

A few weeks ago we took a planned one week hiatus.  The next week Cissa had too much going on with school so I was ready to take over the posting with Pasta e fagioli (pronounced kind of like pasta 'vazool').  Didn't have time to get a family recipe, scoured the Internet and came up with one lots of Italians claimed to like. 

GIANT disappointment. 

Sure the soup tasted good, but a true pasta e fagioli it was not.  Cue some family stuff along with Blogger going down and then my laptop crashing for a few days and that post just did not.get.up.  At any rate, we'll do it over with a better recipe another time.  Cissa's got a heavy work load again this week (I think) so I am taking over.  I know what you are thinking...what's with the heavy warm dishes, it's freaking May.  Well to that I say sauce and meatballs are always in season - but it's been cold and rainy here in New England for what seems like weeks now.  Lighter recipes to follow with better weather for sure.

I start by making my own sauce.  I throw in two 28oz cans ground peeled tomatoes, 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, 6oz. can of tomato paste and always some Italian herb mix I grind.  That's standard.  I usually change up the other things according to my mood.  Today I added a half a palm of crushed red pepper flakes, 3 cloves grated garlic (yup, i grate it so i don't have to chop it!)

1/2 cup red wine (measuring cup, not a wine glass - as fun as that would be) and some fresh basil.  Can be put on stove or crock pot but lately I find it easier to use the crock pot.  Less of a mess, easier to taste here and there to adjust the seasonings.

Then we move onto the meatballs.  While I have never been able to procure my dad's 'secret' recipe (which he swears is not a secret - and yet I don't seem to have it), I have worked out my own.  Not the same, but my kids like it.  Instead of a blend of meats like beef, pork and sausage - I stick with ground turkey.  Healthier and I promise it still tastes good. 

To the 2 pounds of lean ground turkey, I add 2 eggs, 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2-4 grated cloves garlic (depending on size)... and today I added a small amount of chopped onion.

I usually get somewhere around 30 meatballs from that mix, and I pop it under the broiler for about 15 minutes... the they all go right into the sauce to sit for the rest of the day in the crock pot to finish up cooking and to kind of marinate around in the sauce.  (Not a fan of raw meatballs in the sauce.  Partially cook them first to be on the safe side.)

About 15 minutes before serving dinner, I boil some salted water and throw in the spaghetti.  My boys like the thin kind so the thin spaghetti it was.  Spaghetti on the plate, add the meatballs and sauce from the crock pot, some grated Parmesan cheese on top and ....viola!

So much chaos I didn't even get good photos of my guys chowing down.  At any rate, a total success for dinner.  Clean plates all around.  And the best part?  Meatball subs a day or two later with the leftovers.  Mmm!

Stay tuned later this week where I make up for the lack of recent postings by making my absolute favorite dish.   Home made Eggplant Parmesan!!!!

And if by chance you happen to see


Tell her to call me.  Before I put her photo on a milk carton.