Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spaghetti and Baked Meatballs

We're only in town for a few days this week, so my trip to the market was pretty unexciting today. 

I bought broccoli, spinach and stir fry greens

Not much. But all good stuff!

I had planned on making spaghetti and meatballs last week, but it didn't end up happening. If you look at my plan from last week... 
  • Roast chicken with acorn squash and potatoes. (last Sunday)
  • White bean burgers with sweet potato fries. (Friday)
  • Vegetable quinoa with a side of spaghetti squash. (tomorrow!)
  • Spaghetti and meatballs with salad. (today)
  • Quesadillas (using up leftovers).
I guess three out of five isn't so bad after all. Anyway, the spaghetti and meatballs were something I really wanted to make happen. We used to have that for dinner all the time and I remember shaping meatballs into a 'K' for Kim at my grandma's house. I don't shape meatballs like letters anymore (actually I wish I had!) but I still love to BAKE them. I didn't even know this was unusual, but now that I have learned most people fry meatballs, I feel like this recipe is a healthier version.

Baked Meatballs

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon each: basil, oregano, parsley, pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Saute diced onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (5-6 minutes).
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix ground beef, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, egg and herbs. 
  4. Add eggs to the mixture. I try and let them cool for a few minutes before adding in, but once incorporated you can switch to using your hands and they won't be too hot.
  5. Shape mixture into meatballs and place on a baking sheet. (about 12 meatballs)
  6. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
I like to add the meatballs to the warm sauce for a few minutes before serving...

Spaghetti Sauce

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bunch fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
  1. In a small pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until caramelized (~10 minutes).
  2. Pour tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and herbs into a slow cooker. Add onions and garlic.
  3. Cook on low for 4 hours.
You can also easily make this over the stove, just start with the garlic and onion in a large pot and add ingredients. Simmer on low for an hour. 

Yikes- that picture is super unclear because of all the steam rising off of the food!

I served this with some stir fry greens sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper- which was amazing! Some of the pieces got a little crispy and I feel inspired to try kale trips, which I've heard a lot about. I think this mix has Swiss chard, spinach, kale and something else I'm not sure of...

Delicious comfort food :)

It's a little more fun to make sauce with fresh tomatoes in the summer, but right now I feel like using canned (organic) is a better value, plus it's easy to stock up on. This sauce recipe made enough for about 3 jars. Freeze it! I think that I might actually wait for this sauce to cool a little and then store in Ziploc freezer bags to make the most out of my storage space. 

Happy Sunday! Time for Dexter and tasting a new recipe I came up with today... hopefully it'll be good enough to share tomorrow!

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