Spaghetti and Meatballs
This was my first time making meatballs in a non-Pakistani style, but they turned out well. I loosely got this recipe from my Good Housekeeping cookbook, but I made some changes. The meatballs stay soft and flavorful because of a pureed onion and garlic mixture.
1 lb ground beef
2 slices of bread
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Generous sprinkle each of few dried herbs and spices (i used oregano, basil, parsley, and paprika)
1 tsp salt and fresh black pepper
A bit of fresh herbs, chopped (I used 4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil)
8 oz mushrooms
1 large can (29 oz) tomato sauce + 1/2 a second can
1 pack spaghetti
1. Flavoring the meat: In a spice grinder/tiny food processor, grind the bread slices into bread crumbs, adding in the dried herbs, spices, salt, and pepper. This will yield about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Take out the bread mixture and add in the onion and garlic. Puree until smooth, or at least chopped finely. This keeps the meatballs soft, so you can handle them a little more roughly than usual to ensure a well-shaped meatball.
2. Making the meatballs: To the ground beef, add breadcrumbs, pureed onion and garlic, chopped fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and egg. Mix well and form into golf ball sized meatballs. (made 17 1/2 meatballs)
3. In a large medium-hot pan, add some olive oil and sear the meatballs on one side. Flip them over. After they sear lightly, add the mushrooms on top (and some more garlic, if desired)
4. After the mushrooms soften, pour in the tomato sauce and turn the heat down to simmer.
5. Cook the spaghetti. To the hot, cooked pasta, add some olive oil, chopped herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, and grated parmesan cheese (why? because it tastes good).
6. Once the meatballs are cooked through (only about 5 or 6 minutes in the pasta sauce), pour the sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with more cheese and serve!