Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs

We had a spate of rainstorms which cooled things off considerably. I cooked! I even simmered for a couple of hours, but I did not go crazy and start baking because the heat was only at bay, not vanished.

I have quite a repertoire of very interesting and satisfying salads, sandwiches, and other hot weather suppers, however, sometimes nothing really replaces a cooked meal. Especially on a cool and rainy evening.

Spaghetti Sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart whole peeled tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (12 oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup water, more as needed
1 - 2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until tender but not browned. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Stir and blend in sugar, basil, salt and pepper until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding a little more water if needed. When the sauce is reduced and thickened, add the Parmesan cheese. Stir well and simmer for about 30 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Tend it carefully to make sure the cheese doesn't scorch. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings, as desired.

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. milk or half and half
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb. ground beef

Mix all ingredients together and form into 1-inch balls. Pan fry in a bit of olive oil, then drop directly into the tomato sauce after they are browned on all sides.

Meanwhile cook your favorite pasta according to package directions to serve with the spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

Notice anything unappetizing in this photo? Check at about eleven o'clock. This was the "morning after" when I took a plate of spaghetti and meatballs outside to the picnic table to photograph. Just as I was pressing the shutter, a fly landed on one of my balls. Don't you hate it when that happens?!

And then there is the ugly side of cooking. I am normally quite judicious (to the point of obsession) about keeping spatters wiped up. I did not want to cover this sauce because there was a consistency I was looking for, so I just decided to bite the bullet, let it simmer, and clean up later.


  1. Your dinner looks so good! And I have had my stove look like that, OMG! Tomato is stubborn sometimes to get off.

  2. Mmm, spaghetti and meatballs. The fly is just extra protein and crunch. ;)

    Heh, I never cover my tomato sauce because I like it reduced a lot, so my stove often looks like that.

  3. My stovetop has also looked like that and often my shirt too. This looks wonderful-I must try. Cute dog as well!

  4. The pasta in the picture seems to be linguine, not spaghetti.


  5. Caterina, you are right. The pasta is linguine.

  6. Laughing out loud at the fly - happens to me *all* the time because I am either photographing food outside or am indoors with the window wide open ;-)