Spaghetti and Meatballs
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's recipe. (Serves 6)
A few notes.
- Definitely chill the meatballs. They'll be slightly damp beforehand and will need the chilly air to firm up before forming.
- I doubled the recipe, making approximately 22 golfball-sized meatballs, offering plenty to freeze for later.
- I followed her sauce recipe, too, a version I make often, but added a Parmesan rind to the sauce as well. If you have one on hand, slip it in for added depth of flavor.
For the sauce
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
4 ounces unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 onion, peeled and halved through root end
3/4 teaspoon salt
Parmesan rind (optional)
For the meatballs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup whole milk
8 ounces grass fed ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
1 cup finely ground Parmesan (plus more for serving)
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 plump garlic cloves, grated
1 pound spaghetti
To make the sauce, combine the tomatoes, butter, onion, salt, Parmesan rind (if using), and 1 cup water in a heavy stockpot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.
While the sauce bubbles away, start on the meatballs. Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; stir until well combined. Let stand 10 minutes.
Dump the beef and pork into a large bowl. Add the Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Whisk the eggs, then pour into the bowl. Use your hands to squeeze milk from the breadcrumbs, then add them to the bowl. This is when the real work starts. Dig your hands into the bowl and quickly and gently mix until all ingredients are evenly combined. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
Turn the sauce onto low heat. While it warms up, roll clumps of meat into golf ball-sized balls and arrange them in a single layer in the pot. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl.
Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted water until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Add spaghetti to the sauce, along with a bit of the reserved water, and stir to coat. Divide pasta among plates and top each serving with meatballs and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.