Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cook's Illustrated's Spaghetti and Meatballs

These are amazing meatballs, and probably our favorite recipe for them, at least the family's favorite, but I don't enjoy frying things, so I prefer other meatball recipes.  However, these are delicious, easy, and guaranteed to please, just like all Cook's Illustrated's recipes.  These get a perfect 10 from everyone except for me, and I give them a 9.  Because of the simple tomato sauce, dried pasta, and fast cooking meatballs, this comes together super quickly, and is a great week night meal.  Each serving, because of the frying and my high calorie ground beef, is 683 calories for 6 servings.  Here's what to do:

2 slices white sandwich bread
1/2 c buttermilk
1 lb ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T minced fresh parsley leaves
1 large egg yolk
1 small garlic clove, minced
3/4 t salt
1/2 c oil for frying (You can use more or less, depending on how quickly you want to fry them)

Tomato Sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 T minced fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package directions in salted water and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

 Combine the bread and the buttermilk, smooshing them together with a fork occasionally while they sit for 10 minutes.
Place the meat, cheese, parsley, egg yolk, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl, then mix together with the bread/buttermilk mixture.  Shape each meatball about 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter, then set aside, being careful to not compact the meat too much.  I made about 20 meatballs.
In a large pot or pan, heat up the oil, then cook each meatball about 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides.  I had to do two batches.  When done frying, drain and set on a paper towel lined plate.
Dump out the oil, leaving the browned bits in the pan, then place the 1 T olive oil in the same pan.  Heat it up and brown the garlic for a few seconds, then add in the tomatoes.  Cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in the basil, salt and pepper.  Return the meatballs to the pot with the sauce, and stir carefully for about 5 minutes.  Serve with the pasta.

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