Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
Classic italian dinner with an awesome surprise in the middle! (a couple short cuts are offered too)
For the meatballs
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped (throw it in a blender)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, pearls
- 12 cups marinara sauce (recipe follows or use 4 jars tomato sauce)
- 8 ounces spaghetti (1 box)
For my marinara sauce
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 (28 ounce) cans san marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups water (fill empty tomato can and dump it in)
- Hand mix first 7 ingredients together and form into golfball size balls. Flatten a little bit with your palm, and form meat ball around 1 of the mozzarella pearls.
- Here's where you have 2 options to cook them: 1. Drop them straight into your simmering marinara sauce and let them go for 30-40 minutes. 2. OR -- Pan fry them in a little oil to brown on all sides then drop into the sauce. I use veggie oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) on med-high heat. Takes about 3-4 min to brown on all sides. Then drop them into the sauce and let them go for ~30 minute.
- Serve with spaghetti!
- For my marinara sauce:.
- Saute onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper in olive oil and butter for 8-10 minutes on medium heat until onions are translucent and other veggies are soft. (*All the veggies will be blended later so you don't have to shop them really small). Stir regularly to keep from burning. Add garlic and saute for an extra minute or two (until you can smell it).
- Add red wine. Let simmer until it reduces by about half (4-5 minutes tops).
- Add tomatoes. I crush the tomatoes a bit when I put them in (either by hand or with a wooden spoon). Add one can water. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a hand blender (if you've got it) to puree the sauce directly in the pot. If you just have a blender, then transfer it in batches to blend until its smooth.
- Add seasoning (salt and pepper to taste). Also throw in a couple extra pats of butter. It really pulls everything together. Taste it. If its too acidic, add a couple teaspoons of sugar.
- Let simmer for an hour or two more if you have time. If you don't have time, at this point you can throw your meatballs inches When you simmer it (with or without meatballs), cover is mostly with a lid, but leave the lid cracked so steam can get out.