Many of you have been asking me for an old rustic recipe of Spaghetti and Meatballs. The one that grandmas make and take it to their graves.
Now if you ever met me, then you know I will never be that grandma, I get too excited about food and I talk way too much to be able to keep a secret. Plus I believe food isn’t nearly as much fun unless shared.
So today is the day for my fontina stuffed meatballs served with spaghetti and home made marinara sauce.
There’s nothing better than the intoxicating smell of tomato sauce simmering away on the stove in grandma’s kitchen.
I remember being a little girl in the middle of August, and helping mom blanch the tomatoes and pass them through the machine that separates the skins and seeds, resulting in a smooth sauce that we would then can to last us through the winter.Today I still try to get back to the basics, way past the machinery and special utensils, to a time when your hands and maybe a sharp knife was all you needed.
<strong>F</strong>or a rich and fragrant marinara sauce you must start with San Marzano tomatoes, good quality extra virgin olive oil and a few sprigs of fragrant fresh basil. Here is a great authentic Marinara recipe from Cook-Italian.com. The only secret in this recipe is to make everything from scratch with the best ingredients you can find and sprinkle it with lots of love. And of course, don’t forget the Fontina cheese for a nice surprise when you bite into your meatball.
- 1 lb organic Ground beef
- 3 garlic cloves – grated
- 3/4 c bread crumbs -dried & plain
- 2 slices bread -1 inch thick
- 1 c milk
- 1 organic egg -lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4c fresh parsley -chopped
- 3/4 tsp sea salt & black pepper to taste
- parmigiano reggianno for grating
- 1/4 lb fontina cheese cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 c canola oil for frying the meatballs
- 1 lb spaghetti
1. Soak the sliced bread in the milk for a few minutes, squeeze the milk out and add the bread to a bowl. Combine it with the ground beef, garlic, parsley, baking soda, salt, pepper and the egg.
2. Mix everything with wet hands and add about 1/4 c of bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into golf ball size meatballs and arrange them on a cookie sheet.
3. Press 1 cube of the fontina cheese into each meatball and reshape to encapsulate the cheese completely. Coat each meatball in the remaining bread crumbs and set aside.
4. Heat up 1/4 c of the canola oil in a large skillet and add the meatballs. Work in batches and do not overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on each side and using a pair of tongues transfer them into the sauce making sure to coat evenly. Let them sit in the sauce for a few minutes then transfer them to a bowl and keep warm.
Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package and toss them with the marinara sauce. (Reserve the rest of the sauce for later ) Transfer to a serving platter and add the meatballs on top. Grate some parmigiano reggiano on top and sprinkle with the torn basil leaves.
Tip: Make the marinara sauce first and half way through start working on the meatballs, and bring the pot of pasta water to a boil.