Mid-morning yesterday I learned through an email that it was National Spaghetti Day. Now, the email was trying to get me to buy this or that pasta maker, which I did not do. What I did do was decide that spaghetti would be great for dinner. Everyone in the family likes spaghetti, one way or another. Who doesn’t like spaghetti?
Throughout the day I tossed different ideas about in my head trying to be fun and creative with my spaghetti plan. When I got off work and headed for the store I was still trying to decide on the perfect spaghetti dish for dinner. I decided on plain old spaghetti and meatballs in marinara. Oh, and homemade Italian bread.
No one in my house knew that it was National Spaghetti day. They hoped (when I asked if they knew what today was…) that it was National Donut Day. Hmmm.
I haven’t followed a recipe to make meatballs in years. Or to make “spaghetti sauce” or marinara, for that matter. I have made many variations of meatballs over my lifetime and this is what I have come up with that works for me, and my family. It is relatively healthy, which is important to me. I am delighted to share my recipe for meatballs and a very basic marinara recipe.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon each dried basil and oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Form golf ball sized meatballs and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning once to ensure even cooking. Drain meatballs on a paper towel to remove excess grease. Place drained meatballs in pan of marinara sauce on the stove.
- 1 can diced no-salt added tomatoes
- 1 can no-salt added tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of sugar
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan on the stove. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, then reduce heat to simmer. When the meatballs are cooked and drained, add them to the sauce.
The meatballs and sauce can be served over spaghetti or other pasta or on a split loaf of Italian bread with some provolone. They make a great meatball sandwich.
So, the next time you’re hungry for some spaghetti, or next year on January 4th (National Spaghetti Day) whip of some meatballs and sauce and Buon Appetito!