Spaghetti and Meatballs

Traditional Italian American spaghetti and meatballs recipe. Tomato-based sauce with mushrooms, basil, Parmesan with herb-seasoned meatballs made with ground beef and Italian sausage.
Ingredients

Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup very finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped crimini brown mushrooms
  • 2 28-oz cans Italian plum tomatoes (get San Marzano brand if possible)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste concentrate in tube
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan-romano cheese blend
  • Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • ¼ cup red wine

Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground beef (at least 16% fat)
  • ½ lb fresh bulk Italian style pork sausage
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped crimini brown mushrooms
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan-romano cheese blend
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Red wine

Spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 lbs dry 100% semolina spaghetti, thin spaghetti, or bucatini
Directions
  • Prepare the sauce: Heat olive oil in 4-5 quart pot on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the carrots and mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, basil and parsley. Mash and stir the tomatoes with a potato masher until sauce starts to thicken about 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add tomato paste concentrate, stir to blend. Reduce heat and simmer while preparing meat balls, stirring occasionally.
  • Form the meatballs: Mix by hand in a large bowl the beef, Italian sausage, basil, parsley, mushrooms, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbed salt, and pepper. Do not over-mix or the meatballs will be tough. Use small melon baller, or teaspoons to form 1-inch round meat balls. Roll and compress into tight balls.
  • Sear the meatballs: Heat frying pan on high heat. Add olive oil. Sear and brown meat balls on all sides. About 2-3 minutes. Depending on pan size you may need to brown two batches of the meatballs. Do not crowd the pan by stacking the meatballs. Cook in a single layer. Do not over-cook. As meatballs are finishing, add a little bit of red wine to de-glaze the pan.
  • Add red wine, cheese, salt, meatballs to sauce, simmer: Add ¼ cup red wine to the sauce. Then stir in ¼ cup cheese. Add salt to taste. Add meatballs, gently stir. Simmer sauce and meatballs for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook the spaghetti pasta: While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot with 4 quarts of water in it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add 2 Tbsp of salt. When the water returns to a boil add the pasta to the pot. Leave the pot uncovered while you cook the pasta on high heat with a vigorous boil. Put a timer on for 8-10 minutes, or whatever your pasta package directions say is appropriate for al dente (cooked but still a little firm). Drain. To serve, place thin layer of sauce on plate, add pasta, add sauce and meatballs, sprinkle with grated Parmesan-romano cheese.

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