I get rave reviews about my spaghetti and meatballs from Christian...granted, he loves most of my cooking, but still he really likes when I make this!  It's a little blasphemous since I'm Italian, but I often use jarred sauces (Francesco Rinaldi is my favorite, although a bit expensive) and I mostly use ground turkey rather than the richer beef/veal/pork combo.  But you know, it makes my dish a bit easier, more affordable and somewhat healthier.  So be it.  I don’t really have a recipe for this...I kind of just wing it since I’ve been making it for so long, but I’ve outlined my basics below in case you do want to follow along:

  • Sauce: Sometimes I make my own sauce, but I often cheat as well. I haven't yet perfected my homemade sauce recipe but when I do I'll be sure to share. When I cheat my favorite sauce is created by mixing 2 bottles of red sauce (usually an Arrabiata sauce) with 1 bottle of alfredo sauce (or a homemade béchamel sauce) so it’s more of a light orange color and a bit creamier.  Not quite as healthy, but yummy!
  • Meatballs: I mix together ~ 1lb ground turkey, 1 egg, some bread crumbs and a healthy mix of italian herbs, salt, pepper, and finely grated parmesan cheese (more than you think of all seasonings, maybe 1/2 tsp of each spice, since turkey has a bit less flavor than they typical beef/veal/pork mixture...but at least I’m making up a bit for my less healthy sauce!).  You want a nice moist mixture that holds together well. I then roll them into rather large meatballs (I find they melt in your mouth more and stay soft when they're larger) brown them in a sauté pan and then nestle them into a deep pan with the simmering sauce and simmer partially covered for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Spaghetti: feel free to use dried spaghetti here (or better yet store-bought fresh spaghetti).  But since Christian and I first got our pasta attachment to our kitchen aid a few years ago we haven’t been able to go back to dried pasta, fresh homemade pasta is that good!  Totally worth the effort.  The recipe I use from my Kitchen Aid book for homemade pasta is below (we often make whole wheat as well, but not this time around):

Christian taking a turn at making homemade pasta

4 large eggs
1-2 TBS water as needed
3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

  • Place all ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix with a flat beater for ~30 seconds
  • Exchange the flat beater for a dough hook and knead at a low speed for ~2 minutes.  Remove from the bowl and hand knead for 1-2 minutes.
  • Let it rest for 20 minutes.  Divide dough into 4 pieces and then process with your pasta sheet roller according to your machines instructions
Once the pasta is all cut and ready, drop it into salted boiling water for the appropriate cooking time (remember fresh pasta cooks much faster!) to get you that nice al dente bite.  Pull the pasta from the water (use remaining pasta water to help thin out your sauce a bit if needed), plate it and then add your sauce and meatballs on top with a sprinkling of Parmesan and/or basil.  Grab a nice glass of red wine, dig in and enjoy...this is comfort food at its best!

 

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