The meatballs in the dish are soft, moist, tender and delicious.
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Serves: 5 – 6
3/4 lb. 80/20 ground raw meat
1/4 lb. raw ground sausage
1/2 cup hand grated parmesan
1/3 cups diced fresh parsley
1 1/4 teaspoon fresh diced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 fresh plain bakery roll (about kaiser roll size) or 2 sliced bread
2/3 cup buttermilk (or thinned sour cream).
1 1/2 tablespoons of good olive oil (bertolli is fine).
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 28 oz. canned, San Marzano diced tomatoes (or other good quality).
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
1 lb. dried spaghetti or fettuccine pasta
Large pot of boiling water
In a medium bowl place 1/2″ cubes of freshly torn white bread or roll. Pour buttermilk over the top of the bread evenly. Set bowl aside for 20 minutes while you combine the meats, parmesan and spices in another bowl or on a flexible plastic cutting board. Make sure the buttermilk has saturated the bread cubes. The bread should be mushy and buttermilk mostly absorbed. Combine the meat and saturated bread to the meat mixture until just combined and the ingredients are mixed evenly. Don’t overwork the mixture! Make small 1 oz. – 1 1/2 oz. meatballs and place on a dinner sized plate. Place the meatball on the plate in the fridge for 30 minutes to enable the meatballs to firm up a little.
In a large pan, saute’ meatballs in hot oil over med/high to high heat, but below the smoke point of the oil. Oil should remain bubbly throughout the saute’. The goal is to get a nice brown crust on all sides of the meatballs so that they won’t break down in your sauce when you add them. The browned sauteed meatballs should only go in the sauce during the last 5-8 minutes as you want them tender rather than dense.
Place oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium/high heat and stir for a minute while the pan is hot to infuse the oil with the garlic taste. Caution do not burn the garlic!!! Next add the tomatoes, add the spices and crush the tomatoes a little with a wooden fork. Let the tomato sauce simmer on medium/low for 25 minutes adding some water (6oz.) to thin the sauce slightly during the first 5 minutes of making the sauce. Add wine after about 10 minutes. Add a few lades of the pasta water to the tomato sauce after the pasta is fully cooked. Continue the sauce on low heat and add the cooked meatballs.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, break pasta noodles in half. Add pasta and salt to the water stir the pot right after adding the pasta to keep the pasta from clumping together. Boil the pasta al dente, approximately 8 – 10 minute. Test for doneness, pull a strand or 2 of pasta from the pot with a fork, when you believe it is done and see if it is easy to chew. When the pasta is done lift the pasta with a wooden pasta fork or drain the pasta quickly in a collinder and add the hot pasta to the meatball tomato sauce stir to combine and serve with toasted garlic bread.
Fresh shaved or grated parmesan and finely chopped parsley.