Recipes 2009
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Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 8-10 Servings

Nothing is worse than sitting at the table ready to enjoy a plate of spaghetti and meatballs only to discover the meatballs are tough and dry.  This recipe will teach you the secret to making juicy, tender meatballs, a skill that can only be learned in Italy.

Ingredients for Meatballs:
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
6 eggs
1 cup minced onions
1 cup minced celery
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup chopped basil
1 ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps salt
2 tbsps black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine beef and pork.  Using your hands, blend meat well.  [NOTE:  Do not overwork the meat as it will cause toughness in the meatballs.]  Add eggs, onions, celery, garlic, basil, bread crumbs and cheese.  Continue to blend, then season with salt and pepper.  Fry a small patty of meat mixture in a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil to test seasoning.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Roll meatballs to desired size.  Meatballs should be slightly larger than a golf ball.  Place on a cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate.  This recipe will make approximately 20 meatballs.

Ingredients for Sauce:
4 (35-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes with juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
cooked spaghetti

Drain tomatoes through a sieve and retain juice.  Chop tomatoes into ¼-inch pieces, return to juice and set aside.  In a 3-gallon saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions, celery and garlic.  Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.  Stir in tomatoes with juice and chopped basil.  Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Gently drop raw meatballs into sauce.  Return sauce to a simmer.  Do not stir for first 10 minutes of simmering, or meatballs will break.  When stirring, use a wooden spoon and move the meatballs gently.  Simmer 1 hour, adding water or chicken stock if sauce becomes too thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place cooked spaghetti in a large serving bowl, top with 6-8 ounces of sauce and toss well to coat.  Pour spaghetti in center of a large serving platter, and arrange meatballs on top of pasta.  Top with additional sauce and Parmesan cheese.



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