Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti makes a regular appearance on many family dinner tables. One reason is the relative ease of preparation. Another is because it stretches a pound of ground beef to feed a crowd. This chunky sauce owes its exceptional flavor to generous amounts of onion and garlic.
- Makes 8 servings
1. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice. Chop tomatoes; set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove 1/4 cup of onion and garlic mixture and place in a large bowl; set aside.
3. Add red pepper flakes to onion mixture in saucepan and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, reserved juice, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for meatballs add ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the cooled onion mixture. Form into 16 meatballs.
5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown meatballs on all sides. Transfer meatballs to simmering tomato sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Remove bay leaf before serving.
6. Meanwhile, prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
7. Serve meatballs and sauce over hot spaghetti with shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.