We usually have some kind of pasta for Sunday dinner, and this is my husband’s favorite. He takes over the kitchen and makes the sauce and the meatballs. His philosophy is always to err on the side of more flavor, so he piles on the garlic and onions. He makes his meatballs using a pan saute method, and then drops them into the sauce while it cooks so that the character of the sauce is infused into the meatballs. If you want extra crunchy meatballs, you can deep fry the meatballs and then serve them on the side with a little sauce.
You can add whatever vegetables you prefer. We try to use what’s in season, and then in winter time will use canned or frozen vegetables as necessary. The sauce is a chunky garden-style, with plenty of mushrooms, onions, peppers, and olives. We often double the recipe and then freeze the sauce and meatballs in 32 ounce containers to pull out for quick meals.
Michael's Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chuck 80/20
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 3-6 medium cloves garlic minced
- 5-6 stems Italian flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon basil minced
- 1 tablespoon oregano minced
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan romano cheese blend
- 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic rough chopped
- 1 medium onion rough chopped
- 1 green pepper cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1 medium carrot finely shredded
- 1 stalk celery rough chopped
- 8 ounces fresh zucchini rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced or 1 (7 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
- 2.25 ounces can sliced black olives, drained
- 28 ounces concentrated crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water swirled around in the can
- 1 pound diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 6-8 stems Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup dry red wine we usually use a cabernet sauvignon (optional); otherwise add 1/4 cup water
- 1 pound linguine or spaghetti cooked
- shredded parmesan romano cheese blend
- In 6-quart pot, saute onions, garlic, peppers in olive oil over medium high heat. Once they are golden, add shredded carrots, celery, fresh mushrooms, zucchini, and balsamic vinegar. Cook for about five minutes. Add olives, basil, oregano, parsley, and wine. Reduce to heat to low and simmer covered for two to three hours.
- ***While sauce is cooking***
- Put all the meatball ingredients into the mixing bowl and mash it together with your hands.
- Scoop a heaping amount of the mixture and roll into a ball, about 1-1/2″. Makes 20 meatballs.
- Using a nonstick pan, cook the meatballs over medium heat, turning them over until they are browned on all sides.
- Remove cooked meatballs and drain them on paper towels. Once they have drained well, add them to the sauce.
- To serve, place pasta in bowl and top with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle shredded parmesan romano blend on top.