Monday, November 12, 2007

Really, really good spaghetti and meatballs

This is REALLY yummy. I sent the recipe to a friend once and she balked a bit because of the fennel and it's black licorice-y taste. You don't really TASTE the fennel, and you could leave it out if you hate it, but I REALLY recommend trying this recipe at least once with it - it's really good.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
½ cup ricotta
2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp pepper
¼ tsp each cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
8 oz lean ground beef
8 oz lean ground pork
½ cup dry red wine or white wine or chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups crushed canned tomatoes
½ cups coarsely chopped fresh basil
¼ tsp sugar
1 ½ lbs spaghetti

In large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat; fry onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden – 10-12 minutes. Scrape into bowl. In bowl, whisk together egg, ricotta, fennel, ¾ tsp of the salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, romano cheese and half of the onion mixture. Add beef and pork; combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Wetting hands if necessary, form met mixture by rounded tablespoonful into balls. Add remaining oil to pan. Brown meatballs over medium-high heat, in 2 batches, with slotted spoon, transfer to plate. Pour off fat. Add wine to pan; bring to boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Transfer to Dutch oven. Stir in remaining onion mixture, diced and crushed tomatoes, half of the basil, the sugar and remaining salt. Add meatballs. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Top with pasta with sauce, garnish with remaining basil. Makes 6 servings.

1 comment:

Jenifer said...

I'm not really fennel lover either...but maybe I will give this a try. I think if the seeds were crushed I would be ok, I hate finding (and biting into) whole seeds.