Meatballs and Spaghetti

It’s the first week of January and the gym is packed. I find it funny that in just one month the number of these New Year’s resolvers will dwindle leaving more room to move in the gym classes. But for those of you planning a marathon of work outs, you’re going to need some fuel to see you through. And why go with just the traditional carb loading bowl of pasta when you can get fancy with spaghetti and home made meat balls.

OK, maybe the proper order for the title of this post is spaghetti and meatballs, but I titled it meatballs and spaghetti because the meatballs are the focus of this easy to make and hearty dish. Yes there area multitude  of ways to go about this Italian staple (ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, spicy, sweet, savory etc) but did you know that a great recipe can be whipped up in about 20 minutes? That will give you more time for the gym.

I like to make this dish with angel hair pasta because the thin strands of spaghetti get totally coated in the rich sauce. You can either make a simple sauce yourself or find a delicious jarred version (I’m very into Francesco Rinaldi Traditional Marinara right now). Another trick to easy sauce is using any leftover sauce after cooking a pot roast or some flanken to cook the meatballs in. And my twist on the meatball itself? I don’t use regular bread crumbs but Panko ones instead – a crisp airy Japanese version (it may seem deep fried but it’s actually cooked by zapping an electric current through the dough).

The surest way to easy meatballs is to mix pink, fresh Grown and Behold ground beef with Panko crumbs, an egg and some aromatics. Next form them into medium sized meat balls in the palm of your hand and plop them into a pot of awaiting sauce. Boil them for 20 minutes, along with a dash of hot sauce if you like your meat with a kick. Then serve in bowls over pasta proportionate to each eaters appetite.

Meatballs and Spaghetti

1 box angel hair pasta
1 lb Grow and Behold ground beef
½ cup of panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
a dash of hot sauce (optional)
1 cup of home made tomato, leftover meat sauce or store bought marinara sauce

Cook the pasta according to package directions – drain and set aside. You should cook about a 1″ diameter per serving. Coat cooked drained pasta thoroughly with a scant teaspoon of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together in a mass

In a large bowl mix the ground beef with the panko, egg, parsley, onion and garlic. Add hot sauce if desired. Pinch some beef between your fingers and roll it into a ball the size of a ping pong ball. Set aside and do this with the remaining beef mixture.

In a medium sized pot add your home made sauce or store bought sauce and place the formed meatballs into the sauce. Cover with a lid and boil for 20 minutes.

Serve the sauce and the meatballs over the cooked pasta.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I have been looking to perfect my kosher meatball recipe for years, and this one is fabulous. Cooking them in the sauce makes them so tender and flavorful. You don’t usually see that method, but it works and cuts the step of frying or roasting them. One suggestion: maybe sauteeing the onions and garlic first before mixing them with the meat? There’s a little bit of crunch that might be avoided that way. Kids especially don’t usually react well when alerted to the presence of onions by crunch, even if it’s barely detectable. Thanks for the recipe!
    Marion Menzin

  2. Anna Hanau says:

    I found I did much better when I chopped the onions in a food processor — the first time I did it by hand and they were too big, they fell out of the balls. Also — in case you’re planning on doubling the recipe as I did, only cook one layer at a time!!! The sauce can be reused. But don’t pile them all up, they don’t cook evenly and fall apart when you try to fish them out!!!

  3. Glad you enjoyed the meatballs Marion. Sauteing the onions and garlic first is a great accommodation for varying pallets as well as chopping the onions in a food processor as Anna suggests.

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