My mama, Rita, taught me how to make meatballs and marinara when I was little. She always let me help her, shop for the ingredients, mix the meat & get my hands dirty. To most of my friends growing up comfort food or Sunday night dinners meant meat & potatoes. But to me, it meant spaghetti & meatballs. We be Italian and that's just how we do it.
Over the years, I've altered the recipe in small ways here & there. But the key ingredients always remain the same: use 3 different meats, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs.
Here's my secret recipe. Yup, I'm sharing with you. Tis the season. Fa. La. La.
What you'll need:
1 pound ground beef (I use lean)
1 pound ground mild or hot italian sausage (use can substitute pork here if you'd like)
1 pound ground veal
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 whole egg (if your mixture seems dry, add another egg)
1 cup italian breadcrumbs (give or take)
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
Ground Black Pepper
House seasoning (we use Dakota seasoning! Obviously.)
1 cup graded parmesan cheese
5-6 dashes of worcestershire sauce (I like the anchovie flavor in the background)
1 big bundle of basil, broken in pieces (probably 6 big leaves)
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped finely (because I heart rosemary but omit if you'd like)
What to do:
Dump in bowl. Mix with hands. Form in balls (I like em big but you can make them small too. Don't be sick. Don't do it. We're talking MEATballs.) Set on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake (at 350) until cooked through & have a nice brown crust.
Note: I use basil & rosemary because I'm in love and it's against who I am to cheat. If you're in love with other green herbs then use em. I am not telling you to cheat. Follow your heart. I won't judge either way. Ok, now that we've cleared that up. Let's talk marinara.
Mama always said,
What you'll need:
1 large can crushed tomatos
1 large can tomato puree
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 big bundle of basil, julienne cut (about 6-7 big leaves)
1 large yellow onion, cut into small strips
Salt & Pepper
What to do:
Saute onion in oil. Add salt & pepper. Once they are wilted down, add garlic and cook just a couple min. Don't burn it. Burned garlic is bad. Dump in both cans of tomatoes and stir. Add more pepper. Once it starts to heat up add your basil and stir. Add salt & pepper and let it go. Once it's hot, add in your cooked meatballs. Put the lid on and let the flavors marry. Mine always bubbles over the top and through the lid ontop of the stovetop. Then crusts on the stove and Hunkaroonie has to scrub it. But it's oh so worth it. On the flip side, I could just get a bigger pot. (Santa, I've been good.)
Ok, now my stomach is growling. Good thing I made a big pot and have leftovers.
Recipe(s) will be added to the Recipe Box (on the sidebar). You're welcome. (I know you will thank me for these recipes so I am being proactive.)