I told you I did a lot of cooking this past weekend, so much that I probably won’t have to cook anything for a good part of the week with all the leftovers I have. Anyway, I’ve never really been attracted to try Spaghetti with Meatballs, but I saw this recipe on cookingchanneltv.com that called for sun-dried tomatoes, lean ground beef, and ricotta cheese, I decided to give them a try. I used this recipe adding my own twist, making it spicy by adding Cheyenne pepper.
This recipe tells you to cook the raw meatballs directly in the sauce, so a very lean ground beef is absolutely key. So, though I like to complain that I can’t find certain ingredients here in Spain, I can go to the central market and ask the butcher to grind a fresh pound of meat for me. Starting with my extra-lean beef, I added ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper, an egg and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Pureed tomato, finely diced onion, and a couple of garlic cloves (I leave them whole so I don’t have to eat them) make up the sauce. Let them simmer together for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through.
Top the spaghetti with meatballs, sauce and some chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. At the last minute, I also decided to make some easy garlic bread with a french baguette I had in the freezer by rubbing a garlic clove over the bread, drizzling olive oil, sprinkling Parmesan cheese and a little sweet paprika, and putting them in the oven for a few minutes.
With a pound of beef I made 24 meatballs and I have the feeling that this is one of those things that tastes even better the next day when the sauce’s flavors have had the chance to develop more, so I’m looking forward to lunch tomorrow!
Here’s the recipe for Meatballs with Tomato Sauce:
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- 3.5 oz (100g) ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl until they are evenly distributed. Form golf ball sized meatballs with hands and set on a plate.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 pounds (800 ml) pureed tomato
- Salt and pepper
Saute onion until translucent in a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tomato puree, salt and pepper. (Optional: Add garlic and/or Cheyenne pepper to taste) Bring sauce to a simmer and add meatballs. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that all sides cook fully.
Meanwhile, boil salted water to make spaghetti (or whatever pasta you prefer). Optionally, toast up some garlic bread to help you sop up that yummy sauce!