Strictly speaking, Spaghetti with Meatballs and Tomato Sauce is more Italian-American than true Italian, though the Italians do have a passion for meatballs! Nearly every Italian-American cook has her own version of this dish – the main variations being in the composition of the meatballs. This recipe lays no claim to being the one and true original, but it can – and does – lay claim to being absolutely delicious and incredibly easy to eat. Serve as a main course with tossed green salad, Garlic Bread and lots of Valpolicella Classico wine.
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked, drained and kept hot
1 oz. butter
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 thick slices Italian bread, crusts removed
2 fl. oz. milk
2 lb. lean minced beef
1 oz. fine dry breadcrumbs
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 large garlic clove, crushed
4 oz. butter
2 oz. butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed lo lb. canned Italian plum tomatoes
2 ½ oz. tomato puree
2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon dried oregano
First make the meatballs. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes, or until it has completely absorbed the liquid. Transfer the soaked bread to a large mixing bowl.
Add all the remaining meatball ingredients except the butter to the bowl and, using your hands, mix and knead the ingredients until they are well blended. Shape the mixture into about 30 walnut-sized balls. Place them on a baking sheet or aluminium foil and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, the tomato puree, salt, pepper and oregano. Bring the liquid to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the sauce for 35 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the refrig-erator. In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the meatballs, a few at a time, and cook, carefully turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are evenly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs from the pan as they brown and set aside.
Carefully lower the meatballs into the tomato sauce and recover the pan. Con-tinue to simmer for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked.
Place the spaghetti in a large, deep serving dish and add the butter. Using two large spoons, toss the spaghetti until the butter has melted. Remove the pan containing the meatballs and sauce from the heat. Using a slotted spoon arrange the meatballs over the spaghetti, then pour over the sauce.
Sprinkle over half the Parmesan cheese and serve at once, with the remaining Parmesan cheese passed around separately.