We’ve been on a pasta kick, and what good is a that if you don’t have spaghetti and meatballs in there somewhere? If you play your cards right and have the marinara prepared ahead of time, you can make this rich and relatively quick spaghetti and meatballs easily…perhaps a bit too easily. Instead of using homemade noodles for this, we opted for packaged angel hair spaghetti, which we think gives the dish more diverse textures. Any pasta will do. At the end of the day, though, it’s all about the sauce and the balls.
One trick we use is to soak the breadcrumbs in red wine. Since we use Pinot noir in our marinara, it’s a perfect match. This recipe will make a lot of meatballs, so hope is that you’ll have enough for leftovers.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
- ¼ cup homemade breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup Pinot noir red wine
- ½ lb. ground pork
- ½ lb. ground beef (not lean)
- ½ oz. (about ¼ cup) Italian parsley, packed
- ½ onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 quart marinara (we recommend Nate’s Pinot Noir Marinara)
- 6 oz. dried angel hair pasta
- parmesan, Italian parsley, red pepper flakes to finish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Soak the breadcrumbs in the wine in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs have absorbed all of the wine, about five minutes. Place meats, onion, parsley, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, and soaked breadcrumbs in the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse until combined. Don’t process too much or you’ll whip the egg, which isn’t what you want here.
Prepare a 13 x 9 baking dish with about half the marinara spread evenly. Set aside.
Divide meat into 1.5-inch balls and place into the baking dish, leaving some room around the meatballs so they don’t stick together. Cover the meatballs with the rest of the marinara.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.
Put a large pot to boil.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir the marinara to incorporate the rendered fat and roasted bits that were on top of the meatballs. While the meat cools, cook pasta al dente. Strain and toss noodles with just enough marinara to coat the noodles. Serve with more marinara and three meatballs. Garnish with parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and red pepper flakes to taste.
Yields about 18 meatballs.