Kid’s Spaghetti And Meatballs
I do not think I have ever met any child that doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs, and while on a recent trip to Michigan to take care of my grandchildren, I had the two oldest at 6 and 8 years of age help me prepare this dish which is one of their favorites. This is a great recipe to get the kids involved with as they love to mix, shape, and then drop the meatballs into the sauce. For the sauce, I opened the cans, chopped the garlic, fresh herbs, and onion, but they did just about everything else. I of course cooked the pasta once the sauce was ready. Both kids love to help out in the kitchen, and do not even mind the clean up afterwards!
This is our family recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs given to me by my Mother-in-law, who makes the best red sauce I’ve ever tasted, and I have been making it myself for over thirty years. The trick to this recipe, as in most Italian cooking is to use the best ingredients you can find. Although my Mother-in-law cans her own tomatoes from her garden, I don’t have that option, so I buy a good canned, tomatoes imported from Italy. Pomi is one brand that is now available in grocery stores, and is a personal favorite of mine. The choice of meat is up to you, but I prefer a combination of ground beef and veal for the meatballs. Although I use strained tomatoes or passata most often when I make my sauce, chopped tomatoes work well also.
by Deborah Mele
For The Sauce:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
Salt & Pepper
1/4 Cup Chopped Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
1 (6oz) Can Tomato Paste
1 Large Can Pureed Tomatoes ( I use 1 box Pomi Tomatoes)
About 2 to 2 1/2 Cups water
3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Pound Of Spaghetti or Pasta of Choice
Heat the oil and add the garlic and onion. Saute until tender. Add the paste, tomatoes, water and herbs, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to your own personal taste. Turn mixture down to a simmer, then drop the prepared meatballs into the sauce. Do not stir for the first 15 minutes or so until the meatballs begin to firm up.
Continue to cook for 2-3 hours over very low heat, stirring occasionally, and adding extra water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. This sauce, with or without the meatballs can now be used over your pasta of choice. Just before serving, stir the 3 tablespoons of grated cheese into the sauce. Though most people would choose spaghetti, personally I prefer rigatoni or penne. Serve over pasta cooked al dente, and offer a little more parmesan cheese at the table. With the addition of a nice mixed salad and some crusty Italian bread, this pasta dish would easily make a complete meal.
1 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Veal
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs (best made from soft bread)
1/2 Cup Milk