Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That's-a Spicy Meatball!

I've been trying to conquer the basics lately, perhaps in a nod to Julie Powell (who, admittedly, was trying to Master The Art of French Cooking, which is quite more than just a basic meatball recipe.) One night last week, Steven and I grilled out hamburgers. Between the two of us, we can't polish off a whole pack of hamburger meat, so there are always leftover bits of ground beef. Usually I just make too many hamburgers, which is kind of wasteful.

So the other day, I decided to save the leftover ground beef for something else:

Spaghetti and meatballs!

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I am usually very bad at scraping together meals, although I've been trying to improve. But this meal, I am proud to say, was totally scraped together from leftover bits and bops.

A tomato and some parsley from the garden,

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mixed with the last of the italian bread crumbs from the pantry...

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Throw in an egg and some parmesan cheese...

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Stir it all up, roll out some meatballs, and bake 'em!

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A thrown-together dinner never tasted so good.

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Bonus - I got to use the fancy-schmancy cheese again with the rotary cheese grater!

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Its getting to be all Olive Gardeny Up In Here Lately.

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Even Steven was impressed at how good the meatballs were. (They were not spicy. Not in the slightest. But it was a more interesting title than "I made meatballs!", so I ran with it.)

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Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs, adapted from RecipeZaar
- Meatball Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/2 c. dried italian breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
generous pinch of salt
1/8 c. parmesan cheese

- Extras:
- Tomato sauce of your choosing (I just used my regular Five Minute Tomato Sauce recipe, which I now realize I have not shared with you. I will fix that. I just need more ripe tomatoes first...)
- Spaghetti, penne, or really whatever you've got. (I'll bet these would make a great meatball sub, too...)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix meatball ingredients together in medium-sized bowl. Shape into meatballs (half-dollar sized). Place meatballs on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or so at 350 degrees, or until nicely browned (but not overdone). Meanwhile, make your 5-Minute Tomato Sauce and boil your pasta. Remove meatballs from oven and add them to the simmering sauce for another few minutes or until your pasta is ready. Pour red sauce and meatballs over pasta, and garnish with parmesan cheese and more parsley, as desired.

Put on your best italian accent, grab a fork, and declare, "Mamma mia! That's-a spicy meatball!" (And hopefully, in your experience, there will be no need for Alka Seltzer afterwards.)

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