I fear the reason I'll never be skinny is pasta. I love cooking it, eating it, looking at pictures of it. The great thing about pasta is that it can easily be made healthier, and this recipe is a testament to that. It's loaded with fresh ingredients and it's absolutely delicious. You can easily substitute gluten free pasta/bread for those who are intolerant, omit the butter in the tomato sauce, trade out beef for turkey, etc.
From Giada De Laurentis
- 1 small onion, grated
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup of dried bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 pound of turkey meat
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 26 ounces of Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara
- Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend.
- Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. I used an ice cream scoop. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.
- Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil.
- Add the marinara sauce, about 2 1/2 cups. Reserve half a cup of sauce. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Toss the spaghetti with the reserved marina sauce, spoon meatballs on top to serve and garnish with basil and parmesan.
For Simple Tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 4 to 6 basil leaves
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat.
Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick.
Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.