The ultimate in Italian comfort food.
Growing up, our extended family would gather at my Grandma’s every Sunday for the traditional Sunday dinner (which, in contrast to common nomenclature, is actually eaten by Italians at what is typically lunchtime). While there was always some type of meat on the table, some potatoes and vegetables, the star of dinner was always pasta. It may have been ravioli, gnocchi, manicotti, lasagna, spaghetti (all homemade, of course), or some other variation of pasta, but without a doubt, you could always count on a great pasta dish. Forty miles south, Nick was growing up in an equally Italian household, with the tradition of spaghetti and meatballs every Sunday. So what else would naturally occur when we’d get married and move two hours away from our families than our own tradition of pasta each Sunday? In our house it usually takes the form of spaghetti and meatballs, accompanied by homemade marinara sauce. It feels warm, comfortable, cozy, and just like home to us. And for that reason I am submitting my spaghetti and meatballs into What’s For Lunch Honey’s Monthly Mingle Comfort Foods blog event.
Meeta asked fellow bloggers to celebrate the foods that pick us up when we are down, warms us when we are feeling lost, and blurs out the bad mood. This is what spaghetti and meatballs represent in our house… the warmth of family, memories of childhood, and a connection to our heritage.
I hope you enjoy these simple and classic recipes – the meatballs are an adaptation of the recipe that my mother-in-law uses, and the spaghetti sauce is one I have developed over time through trial and error.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28-oz. can tomato puree
1 28-oz. can tomato sauce
2.5 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Water from rinsing extra sauce and puree from inside of cans
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is tender.
2. Add tomato sauce, tomato puree, parsley, basil, water, salt, and sugar.
3. Stir and lower heat to a slow simmer. This best if it’s left to simmer for at least 2 hours.
(Adapted from my mother-in-law)
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon dried Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup bread crumbs, divided
½ cup grated Romano cheese
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine 1/4 cup of bread crumbs with milk and let soak for 10 minutes. Combine with all remaining ingredients and shape into balls.
3. Cook for 30 minutes and then add to sauce. If you want to cook them the whole way in the oven, cook for 40-45 minutes, depending on size.