Spaghetti and Mega-Meatballs
As far as comfort food goes . . . is there anything heartier and more comforting than spaghetti and meatballs? Today the sun was out, but the air was crisp and cold- it was a delightful December 1st. I wore my mittens as I walked the dog this morning and thought of a warm and filling dinner to enjoy later with a friend who would be joining me.
I put up my holiday decorations today and was definitely in the mood to have a tomato-based sauce simmering on the stove-top for over an hour. "What ever shall I do with all this marinara sauce?" I asked myself. The answer was, of course, obvious. Save some for later and use the rest tonight for a filling cold-weather meal. Classic spaghetti and meatballs came instantly to my mind.
You can throw these meatballs into any old marinara sauce you have handy. I used my Simple and Delicious Marinara Sauce (see "Feelin' Saucy"- September 27, 2009 for recipe) for these babies and it was a delightful dinner. I call them "Mega-Meatballs" due to the mixture of beef and pork. The ground pork sausage adds to a richer flavor and a delicious twist on an old classic and the red pepper flakes gives it just the right amount of bite to differentiate it from the same-ol' spaghetti and meatball rut.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- l lb ground sweet Italian pork sausage
- 1/2 c. plain toasted breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 large handful chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 6 c. marinara sauce
- 1 lb. cooked pasta
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spritz a 9x13" glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a large mixing bow, combine all ingredients. Work together with hands until all ingredients are well combined.
Form into 15 2"-sized round meatballs and place in prepared baking dish. Bake in oven for 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. Toss together with 1 lb. cooked pasta and 6 c. warmed marinara sauce. It makes for a very filling meal, but I think it's something you'll enjoy on a chilly evening.
Top with extra grated Parmesan cheese. Eat! Enjoy! It's a cold-weather classic . . . and so freakin' tasty! I think you'll love it. This recipe makes enough to feed an army. Seriously . . . it will easily feed four . . . probably six- plus leftovers!