Meatballs and Marinara for the Carnivorous Husband

How can I forget to blog about the best dish that I made for my dear husband?

My husband is one hell of a meat lover. He is not into sweets nor does he love veggies. I have accepted the sad fact that even though I got raves for my lemon squares, apple crumble and malunggay pesto, the most that he will eat is half a teaspoon.  So, to show my appreciation for taking the leap of faith when he gave the go signal to buy a gas range, I gave him my cookbooks and food magazines and told him I will cook whatever recipe he wants to try. His request, as expected, was his favorite spaghetti meatballs.

This recipe was adapted from the Test Kitchen Best Ever Recipes Special Issue. For only 35 bucks, this magazine is my favorite among all the food magazines that I have.  Recipes are fail proof because they have been tried and perfected in the test kitchen. Some recipes even go thru as many as 40 revisions before the cooks gave the go signal for publishing.

Here is my take on the recipe. This is good for 10 people.

Onion Mixture

1/4 cup olive oil

3 onions, chopped finely

8 garlic cloves, pressed thru a garlic press

1 tablespoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes –> I could not find my sachets of pepper flakes from Yellow Cab so I omitted this ingredient

– Heat the oil. Cook the onions until golden. Add  the other ingredients (yikes, I just realized that I have been using ingridients with an I in my last recipe posts! Teehee. ) until fragrant. Divide the mixture into two.

Sosy Marinara Sauce

1 can tomato paste

1 cup red wine

1 cup water

4 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

sugar, salt and pepper to taste

– Add tomato paste to half of the onion mixture. Cook for a minute then add the wine. Cook for a minute or two  until slightly thickened. Add water and crushed tomatoes. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is no longer watery. The recipes states that simmering will take about 45 minutes to an hour. I initially thought that 45 minutes was too long. Interestingly, it did take about 45 minutes for the sauce to get really thick. Once the sauce is no longer watery, add cheese and chopped basil and sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Giant Meatballs

1 kilo ground beef

4 slices of white sandwich bread, torn into pieces

3/4 cup milk

2 Italian sausages, casing removed

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup parsley –> I omitted this because my parsley plant was undergoing a tampo phase because we took too many leaves the last time

2 teaspoons pressed garlic cloves

– Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Yup, no frying this time. Cooking the meatballs in the oven gives us the crust that we want and meat that is moist and cooked thru. If we go the frying route, not only will it take forever to cook 16 large meatballs, the meatballs will either be burnt with undercooked meat in the center or cooked but thoroughly dried.

– Cut your nails and wash your hands. Mix all the ingredients plus half of the onion mixture using hands. Form 2 1/2 inch balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet. I made the mistake of lining the baking sheet. The recipe said that it will take 20 minutes for the meatballs to brown nicely. I don’t what happened but it took me 40 minutes. 

– Transfer the meatballs to the pot of marinara sauce. Let simmer for 15 minutes . Pour over spaghetti, garnish with fresh basil leaves from the garden.  Serve with a smile and a lot paper napkins.

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