Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On Top of Spaghetti, All Covered With Cheese, I Lost My Poor Meatball When Somebody Sneezed.

You know what I don't make as often as I would like?  Meatballs.  Spaghetti and meatballs to be exact!  Of course it is impossible for me to make just one dinner's worth of meatballs.  I must make extra for the freezer.  It seems now that the holiday season has passed and freezer space is no longer dedicated to baked holiday treats, it is time to fill it with dinner type goodness.  The some 10 dozen perogies I made yesterday will serve us well but a family cannot live on perogies alone (despite the attempts of a certain teen age boy).

Today was a busy day for stocking the freezer but the meatballs were also a part of tonight's supper.   I didn't feel like thawing the ground beef from the freezer so I sent the boy out to the store....he is so helpful.  This is one of those dishes that I make different every time I put it together.  I really have no measurements for this one.  Please bear with me.

In a small bowl, combine:

between 1/2 to 1 cup of bread crumbs (tonight I used panko because that is what I had)
enough milk or half and half for the crumbs to soak up

Not pretty, but it all adds flavour!
Let this sit for about 10 minutes.  In the meantime:

Grate 1 medium sized onion and place in a large bowl. (or grate the onion right into the bowl).
Using a micro plane or a garlic press, get 3 or 4 cloves of garlic into the mix.
Add 1 or 2 eggs, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
Don't forget the handful of grated Parmesan!!
Add the meat as well!Today I used a large family size pack of ground beef but a combo of beef and pork is good, so is ground turkey or chicken...use what you like!

Add the milk and breadcrumbs to all of this and mix it together with your clean hands.

I used a scoop to help portion out the meat balls.
 Bake in the oven at 350F for about 20 minutes.

If you forgot to tell your teen shopper to pick up lean ground beef, and had to use regular ground beef, there will be a lot of grease on the baking sheet.  Let the meatballs cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a paper towel lined sheet or to a cooling rack.  Once cooled, lay the meatballs in a single layer and freeze until solid.  Now transfer the frozen meatballs to a zip top bag or other freezer safe containment unit, label and place back in the freezer until you next spaghetti night!  (Meatballs thaw so well in your favourite sauce!)

A very simple sauce to go with your meatballs!

Heat a pan and add a tbsp or so of olive oil.  Now saute up 1 medium onion, chopped and 1/2 a bell pepper of your I had a yellow pepper so I used that.

Grate or press in 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and keep cooking for a minute or two.  Open up a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and add this to the mix.

Pop in a bay leaf and let this simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
Next add about 24 meatballs and continue to cook on medium until the meatballs are heated through.

Enjoy with a helping of your favourite pasta.


  1. Man that looks good. I haven't had spaghetti and meatballs in forever...such a good, comfort food.

  2. Geez, I can't wait until Dudette's old enough to send to the store! The meatballs look fantastic. I like the idea of cooking them in the oven before going into the sauce.


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