Having Fun With Meatballs, Spaghetti & Sauce

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I love pasta.  Worcestershire sauce from Bourbon Barrel Foods and balsamic vinegar are added to the mix to enhance the natural flavors of the beef and breadcrumbs soaked in whole milk promise for a perfectly succulent and tender final product.  Make it a trifecta and pair with my recipe for fresh pasta and my go-to, easy-as-pie marinara sauce and you will have a locally grown meal that is as wholesome as it is impressive.  Enjoy!

To begin, place one quarter cup panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl.  Pour one quarter cup whole milk over the panko and allow to sit and absorb while you prep your veggies.  Over a twenty minute period the panko will soak up the milk, thickening and becoming very soft.  This will not only help bind the meatballs together but will also make sure there is plenty of moisture in the beef, keeping it from drying out while it cooks.

Turning to your cutting board, prep the following: one third cup minced shallots, one third cup finely diced carrots and three tsp minced garlic.  Set a pan over medium heat and warm.  Add one tbs of olive oil and heat for thirty seconds before adding your shallots and carrots to the pan.  Sauté the veggies for five to ten minutes until they have softened and the shallots are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place one pound of ground sirloin in a large bowl and add the sautéed carrots, garlic and shallots along with the following: one large egg, one quarter teaspoon red pepper flakes, one teaspoon worcestershire sauce (I recommend Bourbon Barrel Foods), one teaspoon balsamic vinegar, one half teaspoon dried oregano, one third cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, one quarter teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and one half teaspoon kosher salt.

Use your hands to bring the mixture together until well blended.  Be cautious not to over mix.  You want to simply make sure the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the meat.

Take approximately two tbs of the meat and roll into a small ball in the palm of your hand.  The meatballs will be just a bit over half of the size of a golf ball.  This recipe will yield 20-24 meatballs.  Once all of the beef mixture has been rolled out, place the meatballs on a plate and set in the refrigerator for twenty minutes to an hour.  We have both an egg and our moistened breadcrumbs in these meatballs, but the cool air from the fridge will ensure that they hold together and will not fall apart in the cooking process.

Warm a large sauté pan over medium heat and add one tbs of olive oil.  Allow the oil to heat for one minute and then carefully add the meatballs, one at a time.  Cook for five minutes on each side and then remove to a plate.  Tent with foil to keep warm.

Drain off any excess fat from the bottom of the pan and add your marinara sauce, dropping the heat to medium-low.  I highly recommend my quick and easy marinara recipe which you can find by clicking here.

While your marinara is warming, return the meatballs to the pan so they can warm back through and soak up a bit of the tomato goodness.  Cook your pasta (I also highly recommend my recipe for handmade pasta, which may be found by clicking here) and drain.

Remove the meatballs from the marinara and add the pasta directly to the sauce.  Toss to coat and cook for an additional minute over medium-low heat.  You should always let your pasta finish off the cooking process in the sauce so the flavors get to the very core of the noodle.  Plate the pasta and top with the meatballs.  Garnish with grated parmesan and freshly chopped basil and serve immediately.  Cheers!

Makes 20-24 Meatballs (Serves Four)

  • one pound Foxhollow Farm ground sirloin
  • one quarter cup panko breadcrumbs
  • one quarter cup whole milk
  • one third cup diced carrots
  • one third cup minced shallots
  • three tsp minced garlic
  • one large egg
  • one quarter tsp red pepper flakes
  • one half tsp dried oregano
  • one tsp worcestershire sauce (Bourbon Barrel Foods is recommended)
  • one tsp balsamic vinegar
  • one third cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • one quarter tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • one half tsp kosher salt
  • two tbs olive oil, divided
  • four cups marinara sauce (foodie-girl recipe found here)
  • one pound spaghetti (foodie-girl recipe found here)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped basil for garnish

To begin, place one quarter cup panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl.  Pour one quarter cup whole milk over the panko and allow to sit and absorb while you prep your veggies.  Over a twenty minute period the panko will soak up the milk, thickening and becoming very soft.  This will not only help bind the meatballs together but will also make sure there is plenty of moisture in the beef, keeping it from drying out while it cooks.
Turning to your cutting board, prep the following: one third cup minced shallots, one third cup finely diced carrots and three tsp minced garlic.  Set a pan over medium heat and warm.  Add one tbs of olive oil and heat for thirty seconds before adding your shallots and carrots to the pan.  Sauté the veggies for five to ten minutes until they have softened and the shallots are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place one pound of Foxhollow Farm ground sirloin in a large bowl and add the sautéed carrots, garlic and shallots along with the following: one large egg, one quarter tsp red pepper flakes, one tsp worcestershire sauce (I recommend Bourbon Barrel Foods), one tsp balsamic vinegar, one half tsp dried oregano, one third cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, one quarter tsp freshly ground black pepper and one half tsp kosher salt.
Use your hands to bring the mixture together until well blended.  Be cautious not to over mix.  You want to simply make sure the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the meat.
Take approximately two tbs of the meat and roll into a small ball in the palm of your hand.  The meatballs will be just a bit over half of the size of a golf ball.  This recipe will yield 20-24 meatballs.  Once all of the beef mixture has been rolled out, place the meatballs on a plate and set in the refrigerator for twenty minutes to an hour.  We have both an egg and our moistened breadcrumbs in these meatballs, but the cool air from the fridge will ensure that they hold together and will not fall apart in the cooking process.
Warm a large sauté pan over medium heat and add one tbs of olive oil.  Allow the oil to heat for one minute and then carefully add the meatballs, one at a time.  Cook for five minutes on each side and then remove to a plate.  Tent with foil to keep warm.
Drain off any excess fat from the bottom of the pan and add your marinara sauce, dropping the heat to medium-low.  I highly recommend my quick and easy marinara recipe which you can find by clicking here.

While your marinara is warming, return the meatballs to the pan so they can warm back through and soak up a bit of the tomato goodness.  Cook your pasta (I also highly recommend my recipe for handmade pasta, which may be found by clicking here) and drain.  Remove the meatballs from the marinara and add the pasta directly to the sauce.  Toss to coat and cook for an additional minute over medium-low heat.  You should always let your pasta finish off the cooking process in the sauce so the flavors get to the very core of the noodle.  Plate the pasta and top with the meatballs.  Garnish with grated parmesan and freshly chopped basil and serve immediately.  Cheers!