Wednesday, October 10, 2012

one hundred and eight

If you'll direct your eyes to the left sidebar on the blog (assuming you aren't using a reader), you'll see a new link: recipes!  On that page, I'll be listing and categorizing each and every recipe I post on my blog.  Please let me know If you catch a recipe that I posted on the blog and forgot to include!

Speaking of, it seems that many of the recipes are either modern reworks of classics, or are longtime family favorites courtesy of Mama or Gran.  From beef stroganoff to meatloaf to chicken pot pie, these are the sorts of recipes that give most Americans warm fuzzy memories of childhood dinners.  Note that I said "most".

I was vegetarian before that was the hip thing to do--not that I had a choice about it.  When I think back to the dinners my family ate, I remember oven baked eggplant Parmesan, barbecued tofu, and spaghetti with wheat balls.  My fairly rational mind can appreciate the fact that my parents tried to give me some semblance of traditional American foods like barbecue and spaghetti (I think I even remember tofu bacon).  Heck, I'm even grateful that they attempted to make vegetarian food taste good, rather than just serving lentil soup every day!  My not-always-rational heart, however, often feels a little bit left out when those around me start reminiscing about childhood favorites.

As soon as I was in charge of cooking for Mr. N and myself, I was prepared to dive headfirst into the world of comfort foods, but there was a problem.  Since I hadn't eaten much salt or processed foods as a child, I soon realized that simply don't like most of the recipes out there.  Even worse, many of the recipes called for Cream of Something Soup or disturbing quantities of Velveeta.  Undeterred, I realized that I would just have to do like good ol' Gran and start from scratch.  Many of my versions are merely approximations, but others (in my oh so humble opinion) are good enough to make you kick your Mom's recipes to the curb--like these meatballs.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


2 lb 90% lean beef
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
6 cups pasta sauce (or 2-24 oz. store bought jars)

Using your hands, gently mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Form the meat mixture into 24-48 balls, depending on how big you like your meatballs.

Heat a large nonstick skillet (or large skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil) over medium-high heat.  Arrange 12 of the meatballs in the skillet.  Cook 1 minute, then flip the meatballs.  Cook an additional minute.  Repeat the process until all of the sides have browned; the meatballs will not be cooked through.  Remove to a large pot and repeat with the remaining batches.

Once all of the meatballs have been cooked and added to the large pot, add the pasta sauce, making sure all meatballs are covered by the sauce.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for about an hour, or until the meatballs have cooked through.

Serve with spaghetti.

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