Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Mom’s Amazing Spaghetti and Meatball Recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Yes, I know. I broke my biggest promise to you all. I have held a recipe from you for a long time. I really apologize. But it was for a good reason. My family and I have moved.

The move was torturous! I didn’t know that we had so much stuff crap until I started packing our kitchen up. I mean, really. Who the heck has like 20 sets of antique china? Apparently us and the White House (I think we have more than twenty. I wouldn’t be surprised if we beat the White House in that field…).

The first day of the move, I unpacked everything that belonged in the kitchen. And guess what? I left all of the antique china packed. First off, unless we’re having the Queen of England over, we’ll [never] eat on the stuff. If not it’s staying packed. That’s my attitude. Secondly, there wasn’t enough space to put the stuff. Our new kitchen is 25 percent smaller than our old kitchen, which had so much space that we couldn’t figure out what to do with it. The countertops in the old place were nicer, but now we have these really hideous (to me) beige speckled countertops. They’re not too bad, as they’ll probably give a nice contrast to whatever things I photograph. We have yet to give our new kitchen a theme like in our old kitchen (which had a bistro theme).

I should stop yapping about our move and our new kitchen, because that’s going to probably be in the next post that I’ll have up. The next post will be have a tour of our kitchen, living room, and even the crapper! So, stay tuned for that.

Anyway… I’ve got a recipe for you, if you haven’t noticed already. Today’s recipe is all about my mother’s meatball recipe. I know that you all have missed me, but I’ll try to make my recipe introduction short. No promises, though.

The one thing that my mother knows how to make best is comfort food. And one of my favorite comfort foods is the classic combination of spaghetti and meatballs. This recipe for meatballs is not a classic Italian grandmother recipe, and it has a couple of shortcuts (which aren’t always bad!).

Yes, I said the word, “shortcuts.” My mother is not big on cooking gourmet. Why? I don’t know. She’ll eat the stuff, just not really make anything that’s considered “gourmet”.

You may be wondering: “Okay, so what are the shortcuts?”

Well, there’s actually one. My mother doesn’t make her own sauce a lot of the time, but when she does, it’s amazing. You can surely use your favorite pasta sauce recipe (or if you like shortcuts, like my mom, just use your favorite jarred pasta sauce). Jarred, or not, I am telling you these meatballs are off the hook.

I am not just saying that my mother’s meatballs are amazing because she’s my mother. I’m saying it because it’s a fact. My mother’s meatballs have beaten little old Italian grandmother recipes in my taste tests. AND they’ve even beaten meatballs that I’ve tasted from “the greatest” Italian restaurants.

First thing, how do I classify my mother’s recipe as the best?

Well, I’m sure that saying that they’re the best are fighting words, but I’m telling you, if you make my mother’s recipe correctly, you’ll say that they’re the best!

Okay, back to how I classify them… Well, to me, they have to be the perfect size, first. I don’t want a meatball the size of my head on top of a pile of spaghetti. It’s a big no-no in my book.

I’m not hating on people who like to make their meatballs the size of baseballs or even cricket balls, but my mouth just isn’t big enough. Heck, I don’t think anyone’s mouth is big enough. Sure, it may be fun getting a little messy when eating your favorite comfort food, but sometimes it can get a bit annoying.

Also, the best meatballs have to pack tons of flavor. I don’t care what anyone says, but the sauce doesn’t really make the meatballs. Sure, it may in some instances, but not in this instance. The flavors in the meatballs make the meatballs. The sauce just compliments the meatballs.

In addition to size and taste (no pun intended), they have to have a nice crispy exterior, with a beautifully moist interior.

To me, those things make the perfect meatball.

When it comes to meatball making, you don’t need three different types of ground meats to have great meatballs. Some Italians reading this post may be saying that I am soooo wrong, and some might be agreeing with me. But, meatball making doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s considered a comfort food for good reasons.

That said, my mother only calls for ground beef, since I received a one pound package of grass-fed ground beef in the mail from the kind people at US Wellness Meats, I used that.

Anyway, I’ll get straight to the recipe, since you’ve probably been missing my recipe posts after a billion and one posts about things other than food or recipes, for that matter.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

spaghetti & meatballs recipe

If you prefer not to fry the meatballs (which I don’t really suggest doing, only because it compromises the great taste that the fried meatballs have), leave out steps 3 – 6. Instead, heat the sauce and water. Then, place the meatballs into the sauce and allow the meatballs to cook in the sauce for about 2 hours.

• 1 Pound of Ground Beef (can use grass-fed)
• 2 Packets of Sazón Goya with Coriander and Annatto Badia Sazon Tropical*
• About 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
• About 1 tablespoon of onion powder
• 7 or 8 Spanish Olives, diced (preferably Goya) – OPTIONAL
• 1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
• 1 egg
• About ¼ cup of julienned green and red bell peppers
• 1 medium sized onion, julienned
• About 1 ½ to 2 Cups of Vegetable Oil (to fry meatballs)
• 24 fluid ounces of your favorite jarred pasta sauce (if you prefer, you can use homemade)
• 12 fluid ounces of water
• 1 pound of spaghetti

* Recently, we discovered that Sazón Goya had MSG in it, so we now use a brand, which is just as good as the Goya Brand AND has no MSG. It is called Badia Sazon Tropical (this)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients.

2. Form mixture into bite-sized meatballs (roughly 2 inches in diameter)

3. Fry the meatballs in the vegetable oil until browned (the amount of oil is an approximation). Once the meatballs have been fried, do not throw away the oil. Reserve it for the next few steps.

4. Place the meatballs aside.

5. Sauté the onions and bell peppers in ¼ cup of the reserved oil until translucent. Add the onions, peppers (and the oil that you used to sauté the mixture) into a large pot with the sauce and water. Heat the sauce.

6. Once the sauce is hot, place the meatballs into the sauce. Cook on a low heat for about 1 hour.

7. Stir at least every 15 minutes.

8. Serve along with spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

Hey everyone, for those of you wondering… Here’s my feature on the US Wellness Meats site. Please be sure to read it! :D

Also, the olives in the recipe are optional (I changed that in the recipe). I forgot to mention that. Silly me… I left them out because I am not too big on olives, but if you like olives, or if you don’t mind them, keep them in. 

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  • Ruth
    January 11th, 2010

    I just stumbled onto your site and so glad I did. It’s stunning and the recipes are great too ;-)

    Anytime you’d like to share your pasta dishes with Presto Pasta Nights, we’d love to have you join in a roundup.

  • ninu
    June 3rd, 2010

    hey you!i have been lusting after these for a long time but there s just one thing stopping me. there is no way in hell i can source that badio thing!!! is there a sub i could use? maggi stock cube say???

  • maina tariq
    December 17th, 2010

    I liked your recipe; it had a pakistani touch in it. I chose your recipe because your name sounded muslim, so I knew that your recipes would not have a trace of pork in it, just as others do. Thank you for such a delicious recipe for meatballs with spaghetti! Nice Work.

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