Thursday, 16 July 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs.

I always like to experiment on dishes that looks tempting, complicated and very challenging. I really have to put lot of courage in to doing some experiments like that. While doing such experiments, I always make sure that there is something (some food) for the backup if at all the new dish turns out uneatable:). Not always does the experiments come out successful. But this is something that came out really good so I thought I would share with you all.. I think after cooking this spaghetti and meatballs I became overconfident. I tried two new dishes after this, one was a total disaster and other one had some flavour here and there but I am just not happy with the result.....ha!But I am not going to give up, after all that's how you learn cooking.

Here is a simple and healthy way of cooking meatballs and Spaghetti. Normally the meatballs are deep fried in oil, but here, I baked them, and they gave me perfect results with juicy meatball. I had kept two meatballs aside to try frying them, but forgot to fry them!!. So I will let you know if these meatballs can be fried next time I make them. And surely I will make them soon. I have added more paprika or kashmiri Chilli powder to suit my family's taste, but you can totally avoid them and use black pepper powder instead or reduce the amount of paprika than mentioned in the recipe.

For the Meatballs:
1/2 kilo minced Beef/lamb
1/2 cup freshly ground bread (Bread crumbs), I used two slices of bread, crust removed and processed it in processor to get crumbs.
1/4 cup grated parmesan (parmigiano Reggiano)
4 tbs (1/4 cup) milk
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup firmly packed)
3 cloves garlic minced or finely chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp paprika depending upon the taste
1 large egg
3/4tsp - 1 tsp salt
For the sauce:
2 large tomatoes chopped (400 gms, 2 cups)
70 g tomato paste/puree ( I used a small 70g tin of tomato paste)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic,chopped
1-2 tbs chopped parsley
1/2 tsp Paprika powder
1 stock cube (I used maggi chicken stock cube)
2 - 21/4 cups (450mls-500mls) water
1 tsp Dried basil leaves
2 tsp sugar
1-2 tbs olive oil/vegetable oil
salt- as required
300g-350g Spaghetti to serve
For the sauce:1. Heat a saucepan to medium and add oil. Add the chopped onions and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the chopped garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, paprika powder, stock cube and water and cook on medium heat for about 35-40 minutes until the tomatoes are well cooked, soft and mushy.
3. Add these to a blender and give a quick whiz for a couple of seconds until you get a thick chunky puree, not a smooth sauce.
4. Put it back to the pan and add the cooked meatballs to it and cook on low heat for about 25-30 minutes until the meatballs are completely cooked and juicy.
For the meatballs:
1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs thoroughly using hand to distribute all ingredients uniformly. Make about 28 golf ball sized/lime sized balls and place in on a greased baking sheet.
2. Place it in a oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for about 25 minutes or until the meat balls turn slightly brown all over. Add this meatballs to the tomato sauce prepared earlier along with the juices in the sheet. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 25-30 minutes; stirring from time to time. If you find it too thick, you can add some water accordingly. But for me the above amount was perfect. Again it depends on the heat and vessel used for preparing the sauce.
For serving:
1. Prepare the spaghetti according to the packet instructions;drain.
2. Serve spaghetti topped with meatballs in sauce; sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve warm. Serves 4.

1. The tomato sauce really keeps well. You can freeze them in jars and then use for later use,making the work easier.
2. Similarly, You can make make meatballs,place them in a tray, and freeze them until hard, then transfer them to freezer bags and freeze until needed. Cook directly from freezer as mentioned above, but it will take longer,once frozen. Cook until lightly browned all over. Enjoy this classic Italian Dinner with your loved ones.....
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