Prep 2 hrs
Cook 3 hrs
This recipe was on the cover of Gourmet Magazine, 2009. It is by far the best recipe for Spaghetti and meatballs I have ever had. The addition of lemon zest is amazing. I halved the recipe and we ate it 5 nights in a row. Believe it or not we did not tire of it and yearned for more.
For tomato sauce
- 6 (28 ounce) canswhole tomatoes with juice
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 cups torn day-old Italian bread
- 3 cups whole milk
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (1/4 pound)
- 1⁄3 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground veal
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground pork
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef (not lean)
- 1 cup olive oil or 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 lbs dried spaghetti
- grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Make sauce:.
- Drain tomatoes, reserving juice in a large bowl. Crush tomatoes with your hands and add to juice.
- Cook onions in oil in pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, 4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Simmer sauce, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt.
- Make meatballs while sauce simmers:.
- Cook onions in extra-virgin olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Soak bread in milk in another bowl until soft, about 5 minutes. Firmly squeeze bread to remove excess milk, discarding milk.
- Stir together cooled onion mixture, bread, eggs, parmesan, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, 51/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined. Add meats to bread mixture, gently mixing with your hands until just combined (do not overmix).
- Form meat mixture into about 70 (1 1/2-inch) balls with dampened hands, arranging meatballs on 2 large baking sheets or in shallow baking pans.
- Heat olive or vegetable oil (1 cup) in a 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meatballs in 4 or 5 batches (without crowding), turning frequently, about 5 minutes per batch. Return to baking sheets.
- Add meatballs to sauce and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. (If pot is not large enough, divide meatballs and sauce between 2 pots.).
- Prepare pasta:.
- Cook spaghetti in 2 batches in pasta insert in boiling salted water (3 tablespoon salt for 6 qt water) until just al dente, draining and tossing each batch with some of sauce in a large serving dish.
- Serve with meatballs, remaining sauce, and grated cheese.
- Cooks' notes: •Meatballs can be made and simmered in sauce 5 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
- •Meatballs with sauce can be frozen in an airtight container or heavy-duty sealable bags up to 3 months.