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Spaghetti and Meatballs

This recipe pretty much sums me up. It's the dinner I requested for every birthday I can remember at home, its the recipe we make for family reunions and its what I make when I just want to feel at home. I hope you all make it and get a similar feeling of absolute comfort and happiness.

Serves 6

Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely diced yellow onion, about 1 onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

2-3 sprigs fresh basil

1 pound spaghetti

Meatballs:

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2/3 cup water

2 large eggs

1 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

¼ cup grated parmesan

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Canola Oil, for frying

Get a large pot of salted water to a boil.

To make the tomato sauce: In a medium pot over medium heat add the olive oil. Once hot, add in the onion, garlic and salt. Cook about 5 minutes or until the onion has softened but has not turned brown. Stir in the tomato paste. Continue to stir until the tomato sauce melts and coats the onions. Cook 1-2 minutes while the tomato paste toasts and becomes are deeper red color. Next add in the crushed tomatoes, sugar, oregano and basil. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. The sauce should just be bubbling slightly. Let the mixture simmer while you make the meatballs.

To make the meatballs: In a large bowl mix together the panko and water. Let the breadcrumbs sit for 2-3 minutes to rehydrate. Crack the eggs into a separate small bowl, this way you can remove any egg shells, before adding it to the breadcrumbs mixture. Stir to combine and then add the ground beef, garlic, onion powder, parsley, parmesan and salt. Mix until the meatball mixture just is evenly combined; you don’t want to overwork it or the meatballs will be tough. Add enough meat to fill the palm of your hand and roll the meatballs into rounds, they should be about the size of golf balls.

Line a sheet tray with paper towel. Add enough canola oil to come up the sides of a large sauté pan about ¼-inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add one meatball, when there are small bubbles around the edges of the meatball add more meatballs, enough to fill the pan but still leave about ½-inch of space between each meatball. Cook until brown on all sides. Remove to the paper towel lined tray. Repeat, adding more oil to the pan as needed, until all the meatballs are browned. Once the meatballs drain on the paper towel lined tray for a few minutes, gently stir them into the tomato sauce. Finish cooking the meatballs through in the tomato sauce, another 5-10 minutes.

While the meatballs cook through add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Stir to break up the pasta and cook until al dente. The back of the package will give specific directions for timing. Drain the pasta and add to bowls. Remove the basil from the tomato sauce and spoon the tomato sauce and meatballs over the pasta. Serve with garlic bread.

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