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):
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