Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of my favorite comfort meals. When I was a kid and I had been out with my mom all day, and she´d be pressed for time to make dinner, she´d make spaghetti and meatballs because it was fast and easy and delicious and I loved it. Later in life I learned the reason it was fast and easy for her was because she´d buy the meatballs frozen at Sam´s and she´d have them ready to go at a moment´s notice. *whomp whomp* I didn´t learn the truth here until I got married and demanded she tell me her secret.
I thought I had fond memories of us making meatballs together. Nope. It was hamburger patties I was remembering. Oh well. The result is that I make hamburgers the same way I make meatballs, just about. I used to love making hamburgers with her because I loved sticking my hands in the meat and squishing it all around. I thought it was brains and how cool was that?! To be fair, being Mexican, I grew up unafraid of eating all kinds of things like tongue and blood sausage, so why not brains?! It seemed logical to me at the time.
Anyway, I still love squishing my hands around in ground beef.
My sauce isn´t from scratch, really, it´s modified tomato sauce and Prego. Don´t judge. It turns out really well. A note I’ll mention: all my meals are made for two people, but we usually have some leftovers.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp Tony´s
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1/4 cup finely shredded mozarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
- Put everything in a bowl and mix it up with your hands. If mixture seems too moist, add more breadcrumbs. But not too much with the breadcrumbs because then the meatballs will be dense and terrible. If you accidentally overdo it with the breadcrumbs, add more ketchup and worchestershire to even it out. But don´t go crazy.
- Make little meatballs with your hands and place on lined cookie sheet. I make mine about 1.5in in diameter, but you can make them bigger if you like. They do turn out smaller after you cook them, so don´t make them too small. I get about 16-18 meatballs.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
While that´s in the oven, start your pasta. I prefer angel hair–always–instead of spaghetti. Salt and butter in the boiling water, don´t forget! About 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp butter.
Sauce time! I like to use a lot of the same seasonings in the sauce to echo the flavors in the meatballs. Whatever. I kind of use the same seasonings for everything over and over.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup Prego sauce, “Flavored with Meat”
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp Tony´s
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup half and half (or milk)
- Heat saucepan over medium high heat. Once hot, add olive oil.
- Once olive oil is hot, add garlic. Stir til fragrant. These guys tend to burn quickly so keep an eye out.
- Add Prego sauce. Stir continuously.
- Season with chili powder, basil, oregano, parsley, Tony´s and paprika. Keep stirring.
- Lower heat to medium low.
- Add tomato sauce, keep stirring.
- Add half and half. You can substitute milk. Tonight I used skim milk because that´s all I had. I prefer half and half because it makes the sauce creamier, but work with what you´ve got. Stir stir stir.
- Lower to low heat while you wait on everything else.
Around this time, your pasta should be about done. Drain it and set aside. Meatballs should be ready, too. Put ´em on a cooling rack. Some people dump the meatballs into the sauce, but I don´t like doing that.
ASSEMBLE IN LAYERS
- Mozarella cheese