I'm continuing my month of recipes with the kiddos in mind, sharing dishes that appeal both to younger and more mature palates. After all, who doesn't love a good plate of spaghetti? This recipe is authentic Italian, shared by a dear family friend and former neighbor of mine. The husband was Italian (this is a family recipe from his mom) and the wife was Greek and didn't really enjoy time in the kitchen, so every time they had our family for dinner, this was her go-to choice...and I didn't complain! Unfortunately, their sauce recipe is a closely kept family secret, but these meatballs are to die for...
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (or use dried)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 325.
Mix all ingredients (don't be shy; use your hands!) in a large bowl. Using a small ice cream scoop, tablespoon, or meatball maker ($3-4 in the kitchen gadget section of my local grocery), form mixture into meatballs. Place on a cookie sheet (if you use extra lean 96/4 ground sirloin like me, you might like to lightly grease the tray) and bake for 30 minutes.
While meatballs are baking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound of spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet to medium-high and sauté a couple cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup diced onions until golden and fragrant. Pour in a jar of your favorite marinara sauce (or Mrs Zicarelli recommends making the recipe on the back of a can of Cento tomato sauce, since she wasn't allowed to share the family sauce recipe with me) and warm until heated through. When meatballs are done, add them to the sauce to absorb some more flavor for 5-10 minutes.
Serve over pasta with a green salad and red wine (no wine for the munchkins though!).