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All questions

Meatballs and spaghetti

It's snowing. Clearly the night demands spaghetti and meatballs. I have a recipe I usually use but am interested in trying a new one or two. Any favorites? I'll be serving them with a traditional tomato sauce and I am not adept at really frying them.

asked by MTMitchell almost 3 years ago
13 answers 1427 views
Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 3 years ago

First off, this is an entirely Italian-American thing. You will never encounter spaghetti and meatballs in Italy unless it's on a "menu turistico"---hello, american hayseeds. This doesn't mean it can't be good. The polpettone (gut bombs) really do need to be browned, not fried before finishing the cooking. I don't know what your recipe is as there is no such thing as "traditional" even on a dish like this. You can work cheese and/or breadcrumbs into the meatballs and after browning cook them in the sauce. You might try using a mixture of beef, veal and pork for the bombs and bind them up with egg. Myself, I'd use some chopped up anchovy in the sauce---no one will know.

Melissa_mitchell
added almost 3 years ago

I should have clarified -- I meant in the Italian-American tradition. I know spaghetti and meatballs aren't a traditional Italian meal...But they sound so good on a snowy night...I usually use a pork/veal/beef mix, one or two eggs depending, some breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and cheese. I was just interested in trying something new or different if people had ideas.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 3 years ago

Excellent! That's a good starting point. Here is another trick to consider; even in cold climates you can probably find hot house grown fresh basil. Wrap a good handful in cheese cloth, tie it up and treat it as you would a bouquet garnie for stock. That is you cook the bundle right in the sauce and discard it afterwards. It will really add a heady note to your sauce. And don't forget the anchovies.

Farmer's_market
added almost 3 years ago

MTMitchell, it was clear to me you meant an Italian-American tradition. Your basic recipe sounds good; I agree that slipping in a little anchovy adds depth of flavor w/o going fishy; have also seen them made with milk-soaked bread instead of bread crumbs. I prefer them browned before hitting the sauce too - I use a skillet, but have heard many suggest browning in the oven to save on clean-up; haven't tried it myself, so can't comment on whether that effects flavor. I always cook off a bite size meatball to test seasoning before cooking entire batch... Sorry no innovative ideas here - but good, basic meatballs and spag are pretty damn satisfying in their classic Italian-AMERICAN form. Add some freshly grated parm and a good full bodied red wine, and it's hard to imagine a better dinner for a snowy night.

Default-small
added almost 3 years ago

I sometimes make these meatballs from the Frankie's Spuntino cookbook. Its a larger meatball, with pine nuts and raisins. Something different! http://www.bonappetit.com...

110
added almost 3 years ago

Sorry, no recipe here...but may I offer a suggestion? Brown the "bombs" in a quarter inch of oil at a pretty high temperature, the way you might do a crab cake, say. A good crust is what allows them to hold together during braising. Don't cook them in the sauce for too long, because the acidity will make them sourish. You can cut back on the panada if you aim for a meatball that is not overcooked, still a little pink inside. And a good pecorino is probably the best choice, unless the family is from Emilia-Romania. Please post back after the snow is gone!

Melissa_mitchell
added almost 3 years ago

Thank you all! Lots of great suggestions and inspirations. My original plan was to leave after a meeting I thought would end at 3, hit the grocery store to get different meats, pine nuts, and basil and add a little of several suggestions into new meatballs. What happened was my meeting went until 4:30, and it took an hour and a half to get home (5 miles)...so I'm making then with what we had on hand. Ground beef, ground lamb, herbs, parm regiano, plain bread crumbs, garlic. Did a test piece...it's pretty good, and I think it will benefit from being browned up in oil and a little time in sauce. And I will benefit from what -we-have meatballs and spaghetti and wine. Possibly lots. I need to be fortified to shovel in the morning! Thanks again!

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

Hopefully it turned out to be a satisfying meal for you on a cold winter's night!

110
added almost 3 years ago

Excuses, excuses? Just make the meat balls Mama!

Melissa_mitchell
added almost 3 years ago

Haha! The mix is resting (and so am I). Rolling commences in 10. Sauce underway.

110
added almost 3 years ago

Late at night, I realize that the snow leaving Chicago is about to land on our own heads here in New York. Time to eat my own advice!

Melissa_mitchell
added over 2 years ago

The meatballs and spaghetti hit the spot on a snowy night! Just saying....other snow night fortifiers might be short ribs. Or chili.

Dsc_0048b
added over 2 years ago

this might be too late for this time, but for next time, I loved this very traditional and easy recipe. I lightly pan fried then tossed them into the sauce for a while. Check out my notes on the community pick section to read more. Nancy Jo's "Nonna's meatball's": food52.com/recipes/6195_nonnas_meatballs