Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Homemade Marinara

I love spaghetti and meatballs but struggled for awhile to find a recipe that was the standard I was looking for. This version turns out amazing. It can be made with marinara from a jar (Muir Glen Organic is gluten free and delicious) but the homemade marinara brings the recipe up to a new level. Try this recipe is worth it.

Here is how:
1. The marinara:
     a. In a large pot heat up 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.

     b. Add 1 medium onion (finely chopped) and saute the onions until they are translucent.

     c. Add:
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped (I prefer organic celery)
- 2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    d. Saute until all of the vegetables are soft..about 10 minutes.

    e. Add 2 (32 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes and 3 dried bay leaves and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens (about 1 hour).

    f. Remove the bay leaves and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

2. The spaghetti and meatballs (OMG so good!)
    a. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.

    b. Heat up 3 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet of medium heat.

    c. Add:
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Tbs. of chopped fresh Italian parsley

    d. Saute the vegetables until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Take the pan off the heat and let it cool.

    e.Take 4 slices of white gluten free bread (any brand will do) and remove the crusts and cube it.

    f. Place the cubes in a bowl and pour 1 cup of milk over the bread..letting it soak into the bread while the vegetables cool.

    g. Combine 1 pound each of ground pork and ground beef in a large bowl.

    h. Add to the meat:
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 tsp. each of salt and freshly ground black pepper

    i. Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and then add the bread to the cooled onion mixture. Add the meat mixture and use your hands to combine the ingredients until just mixed.

    j. Shape the mixture into 10 meatballs and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    k. Heat 3 more Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown them all over.

    l. Transfer the meatballs to a baking dish and spoon a generous amount of marinara sauce over them. Top the meatballs with a generous amount of grated mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with dried or freshly chopped basil. Drizzle the meatballs with some extra virgin olive oil and bake the meatballs in the oven for 30 minutes (until they are cooked through).
   m. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water (according to the pasta directions) until al dente (I used a corn based gluten free pasta),

   n. Drain the pasta and put it on a large serving platter. Ladle the marinara sauce onto it and toss the pasta to combine.

   o. Spoon the meatballs onto the spaghetti and garnish with some more basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Here is to gluten free comfort faves done right! xo

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