Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
This is Lidia Bastianich's recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. She is a chef on tv who makes very authentic italian food. This recipe is the next best thing to being in New York City in Little Italy.
For the Sauce
- two 35-ounce cans Italian plum tomato (preferably San Marzano)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- fresh ground black pepper
For the Meatballs
- 1⁄2 lb ground pork
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef
- 1 cup fine dry white bread crumbs
- 1⁄3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2⁄3 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (grated, and I want to add that it's important to use FRESHLY grated)
- Pass the tomatoes and their liquid through a food mill fitted with the fine disc.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Pour in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper and bay leaves, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, crumble the pork and beef into a mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs, 1/3 cup grated cheese, the parsley, and garlic over the meat.
- Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl until blended. Pour over the meat mixture. Mix the ingredients with clean hands just until evenly blended. Don't overmix.
- Shape the meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls.
- Dredge the meatballs in the flour until lightly but evenly coated.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Slip as many meatballs into the skillet as will fit without crowding. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Adjust the heat as the meatballs cook to prevent them from overbrowning.
- Remove the meatballs, and repeat if necessary with the remaining meatballs.
- Add the browned meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook, stirring gently with a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains at the center of the meatballs, about 30 minutes.
- Stir the spaghetti into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, about 8 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Spoon in about 2 cups of the tomato sauce, tossing well until the pasta is coated with sauce.
- Remove from the heat and toss in 2/3 cup grated cheese. Check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve the pasta in warm bowls or piled high on a large warm platter.
- Spoon a little more of the sauce over the pasta, and pass the remaining sauce separately. Pass the meatballs family-style in a bowl, or top the bowls or platter of spaghetti with them.