It’s been eight days and I’ve only blogged about dinner ONCE! And only three entries total. Major fail. Or, as the Kardashians would say, just maj.
(Edited to add: ew, did I really say that?)
In hopes of redeeming myself (and my language), I cooked up a delicious meal of my favourite comfort food, spaghetti and meatballs. It’s too easy – and delicious – for words. So much so that Alex and I ate in silence for probably five minutes while we inhaled. Nom.
I shared our sauce-making secrets (well, there’s really no secret – just a whole lotta love and passion!) last week. Pasta and sauce is truly mouthwatering on its own, but a girl’s gotta please her hubs and throw in a little meat here and there. Lucky for me, I’ve got a connection in that department. <shamlessplug> If you’re in the Hamilton, Ont. area, check out my stepdad and stepbrother’s stall at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market – Jepson’s Fresh Meats. Delicious beef and pork, and great guys to boot ;). Tell ’em I sent you! </shamelessplug>
Anyway. These little balls of meat are made from fresh ground beef and the addition of a few essentials. A pinch each of garlic salt, pepper, oregano, basil, fresh-grated parm and sweet red pepper flakes (which I forgot to photograph), plus an egg and about a quarter cup of breadcrumbs – enough to make sure the meatballs hold together.
Mix ’em all together and roll into perfect-sized little meatballs. Pop them on a cookie sheet and into the oven to broil for about 7 minutes, until they start to turn brown and caramelize. Yum.
Meanwhile, start the liquid gold – err, I mean sauce. For the least Italian person ever, Alex is super appreciative of the culture and food . . . so much so that he found it absurd that my grandparents wanted to order KFC the last time we were there for dinner. Hey, us foreigners love the colonel too! 😉 He also KNOWS not to get between me and these jars. Don’t you dare rinse it out until I’ve salvaged every last drop from the jar. This stuff is too precious to waste!
To the pot of sauce, I add a halved onion, a couple of cloves of garlic and spices to taste. (Note: these aren’t necessary if you’re using store-bought sauce, as they have their own flavours.) The onion wilts down and Alex eats it with the pasta – almost his favourite part. I added most of the same spices that I added to the meatballs – oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, S&P. I actually prefer the sauce plain with no added spices, but I’m learning to adapt. When the meatballs are nice and brown, add them into the sauce and cover to let them simmer away with the sauce. All those flavours permeating each bite of meatball . . . I’m almost salivating again.
Meantime, boil a pot of generously salted water. Don’t skip this step – the salt cooks right into the pasta and adds so much flavour to it. Tonight we had spaghettini – not as thick as spaghetti, and not as thin as angel hair – juuuuust perfect. When your pasta is ready, drain it and serve, topped with more freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Can I just say . . . drool. Trust me, this plate is totally worth skipping dessert for. It would have been even better served with a hunk of crusty bread, but I forgot to stop and pick a loaf up after work, and let’s face it – there are more than enough carbs in this dish.
Well, I’m off for my Friday night post-pasta nap! I’ve got lots more exciting things on the menu for this weekend, including delicious appetizers, a decadent dessert and the perfect Super Bowl Sunday dinner. Have a great night!