Spaghetti and Meatballs
with Italian house salad
I'd eat spaghetti and meatballs every night if I could (wouldn't you?). I've made one of my favorites super weeknight friendly with a simple sauce and cooking the meatballs right in that sauce. The result is a dish an Italian nonna would approve of! I've paired it with that Italian house salad we are all so familiar with, but jazz it up with some heirloom tomatoes. Yes, they might look ugly, but they are delicious inside.
Italian House Salad:
- Cucumber, medium - 1 , cubed
- Tomatoes, medium - 1 , chopped
- Balsamic vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Salad greens - 4 oz
Spaghetti and Meatballs:
- Ham / prosciutto - 1/4 lb , chopped
- Onion - 1/2 , grated
- Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
- Ground beef - 1 1/2 lb
- Egg - 1
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup
- Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup + more for serving , grated
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Spaghetti - 3/4 lb
- Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
- Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
- Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
- Basil - 1 sprig , leaves
- Ham / Onion / Garlic - Prep as directed. For onion, slice in half and grate against a box grater. Don't worry if you get a lot of liquids.
- Make meatballs - Using your hands, mix together ground beef with ham, onion, egg, breadcrumbs / panko, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Roll into 1 1/2 (3.75 cm) inch meatballs. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- For salad: Cucumber / Tomatoes - Prep as directed
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- Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain and toss with 2 tbs. (30 ml) of olive oil. Set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and meatballs to heated oil. Sear for 3 minutes, and then flip them all over.
- Add in crushed tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until meatballs are done, 10 to 12 minutes.
- While meatballs are cooking, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. For more vinaigrette ideas, check out this video.
- Once meatballs are done cooking, turn off heat, and add in basil leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and / or a sweetener. Spoon meatballs and sauce over spaghetti and serve with more parmesan and basil leaves.
- Toss vinaigrette with greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Enjoy with your pasta!