I've been hankering for some spaghetti and meatballs and just haven't had the time or the inclination lately to make that long simmering sauce. You know, the kind that takes 5 hours to cook but is so worth the time?
So what does one do when in that situation? Order in? Yeah, I guess that would be the obvious solution. But mine was to have a chat with my grandma and ask her how she makes her meatballs. After that discussion, my yen for the dish got even stronger. What to do!!! Then I remembered Ina Garten made spaghetti and meatballs on her show and she didn't make a long simmering sauce. What was I afraid of! Just make sauce you moron. So I did.
For the meatballs I used 2 lbs of ground turkey. Grandma never ever uses ground turkey but I like to use it and she'll never know I did it so shhh! To that I added bread crumbs, dried parsley, Italian seasoning, two eggs, half of a large onion (grated), and 5 (yes five!) cloves of garlic, grated.
Mix with your hands, they are natures best spoon. LOL who said that? I can't remember. Maybe Sara Moulton. Anyway, mix it all up with your hands and form into meatballs, about the size of a golf ball, especially if you're not using turkey because they will shrink up on you.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Or you can shallow fry them (which means to put about an inch of oil in your pan and fry them, turning to get each side browned). I did turn mine about midway through the cooking process, but you don't have to.
Now the sauce. Start out with that other half of onion, chopped in a big pan with about 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. When it's starting to look translucent, add another 5 cloves of chopped garlic. Oh come on! You know you love garlic! It's not that much. Really. Add some salt and pepper. Do not let the garlic brown! If the pot is too hot, turn it down. After a few minutes, add 1/3 cup of red wine.
Let it reduce a little then add a 28 oz can of tomatoes. I use puree, but you can use crushed or whole (and crush them by hand) or whatever you like. Bring it up to a boil then turn it down to a simmer and add some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning (if you have fresh basil use it, but add it closer to the end of the cooking process).
When the meatballs are done, add them all to the sauce, cover and let simmer for at least half an hour, more if you want. But make sure you stir so the meatballs don't stick to the bottom the pan or they may burn.
Boil your pasta. When it comes to long pasta I generally go for linguine. I like shape a little more than regular spaghetti. Add the pasta to the sauce and serve.
Add some grated Parmesan or Romano if desired.