November 02, 2020
Great Grandma Pauline would make her signature sugo for the family every Sunday. This classic spaghetti and meatballs dish was something everyone looked forward to each week and it continues to be a staple in our families and homes today. This is a traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe with the best meatballs we've ever tasted. We're happy to share her recipes and process with you. Enjoy the experience and make an afternoon of it. And of course, a little vino makes it that much better!
- Ground Beef: 1 lb
- Spicy Italian Sausage: 1 lb
- Eggs: 2
- Onion: 1 Cup Diced
- Garlic: 3 tbsps
- Parmesan: 1 Cup
- Salt: 2 tbsps
- Cracked Black Pepper: 2 tbsps
- Red Pepper Flakes: 1 tsp
- Fresh Oregano - chopped finely: 2 tbsps, or dried: 1 tsp
- Fresh Basil - chopped finely: 2 tbsps, or dried: 1 tsp
Put all the ingredients into a big mixing bowl, gently mix together until everything comes together evenly. We use our hands for this process, but you can use a kitchen spoon or silicone spatula if preferred. When the mixture is set, use a kitchen scoop to make the balls, keeping them uniform and even. Or, free form them with your hands if you prefer. Expect to get around 25 meatballs.
Bake in the oven at 350 until browned, then place them in the sauce. You want these to be cooked through but not overly done to keep them moist since they will continue to cook when in the sauce. The thick juices in the pan are from the cheese, the eggs, and fat renderings and should all be included when adding to the sauce. This will help thicken and bring all the flavors of the meatballs and the sauce together.
- Crushed Canned Tomatoes: 56oz
- Tomato Paste: 6oz
- Onion: 1 Cup Diced
- Garlic: 4 tbsps
- Red Wine: 1 Glass of Old Country Red
- Salt: 1 tbsp
- Pepper: 1 tbsp
- Oregano: 1 tsp
- Bay Leaf: 3
- Basil: 1 tsp
- Red Pepper Flakes: 1 tsp
- Olive Oil: ½ Cup
Heat up you favorite large pot (a bit over medium heat) and add your olive oil. Once the oil is heated, and your onions and garlic and let sweat and release their oils before adding in your oregano & basil. When the onions are caramelized, add everything else.
Note: The bayleaves only need to cook in the sauce for about 20 minutes, so remove them afterwards to not impart too much of their strong flavors into the sauce.
Cook for about 45 minutes before adding the meatballs. Once meatballs are in the sauce, cook for another 30 minutes bringing together into a rich sauce.
Making pasta at home is easy and only requires a few ingredients, but it takes some practice. We'll go into great detail here so if this is your first go at it, your results should be excellent.
Note: If you don't have a pasta maker, you can use a rolling pin throughout. It'll take a bit more elbow-grease is all.
- 6 Eggs
- 4 Cups of Flour
- 2 tbsps of Olive Oil
- 2 tsps of Salt
Start by taking your flour and forming a pile on your work surface. Form a pit in the middle of the flour. If you don't have a work surface that you're comfortable mixing on, use a large bowl.
Crack all the eggs into the center of the flour pile, inside the pit as shown below.
Using a fork, gently beat the eggs bringing them together like you would when scrambling eggs. Don't worry if some spills over the side as it will all come together anyway. Once the yolks and whites are blended well, begin to work the flour into the eggs with your hands until the eggs and flour are together.
The mixture will be a shaggy and rough ball for a bit, slowly coming together as you work and knead the dough. This will take a little while.
Once the ball begins to take a rough shape, separate into 2 pieces as this will allow you to work the dough more easily than the one large mass. It takes a little while for it to go from rough to smooth, but keep at it. Knead and flip, again and again, until you have supple and smooth dough pieces. When they're ready, form into dough balls.
Once your dough balls have come together, cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Then, rollout a thick round that will be able to run through you low settings on the pasta maker. You'll run through the lower settings, moving up as the dough flattens, giving it time to rest a bit as you go. The gluten will tighten as it runs through the machine, but will relax after resting for 15 minutes and will be easier to run through again, at higher settings. When resting the dough, sprinkle enough flour on both sides as you fold it to keep the sheet from sticking together. See steps below.
After you've rested between early and final runs, and you've run the pasta through a final setting of 6 or 7 on your machine, it'll be long and stretch across your work surface. This is when you can either run through the settings on your machine for the desired thickness and pasta type, or roll and cut by hand. Cutting by hand is fun and is the method we chose for this recipe.
After you've rolled your sheets into individual rolls, take your knife and cut into pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick.
As you cut your pasta, you will unroll it into individual strips and lay on your counter to dry a bit while you finish the rest. Once all are cut and in individual pieces, you'll bring them together and place into a boiling pot of well salted water for about 2 - 5 minutes (depending on altitude and your preference). Pasta should be al dente for best results.
After your pasta is ready, plate it while hot and add your sauce and meatballs. Top with fresh parmesan and basil and serve. Enjoy with a hearty glass of Old Country Red!
Credits: Chef Tanner Harris and Blanca Laborde. Thank you both for your support, amazing skills in the kitchen, and keen eyes for the details.