The Battestelli Family's Homemade Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce
from the kitchen of Kate Battistelli, see more at katebattistelli.com/food/kitchen-princess
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1-2 cups freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
4-5 large cloves fresh garlic chopped fine
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Several grinds of pepper
4 teaspoons parsley flakes or 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Olive oil, about enough to come 1/2 way up the sides of your skillet
Water, enough to make the meatballs quite soft. In fact, they are wet enough when
they just barely hold t heir shape. This is the key to making them tender and not tough.
Put everything in a big mixing bowl and mix it all together with your hand s until everything
is well mixed.
Shape it into balls, about an inch, and brown in olive oil on both sides in a big, deep pot. Because the meatballs are soft, they won't be perfectly round when they are cooked.
Cook them in batches for about 4 to 5 minutes each side.
To those wonderful drippings from the sautéed meatballs, add:
2 chopped onions
4 cloves chopped garlic
Sauté for a couple of minutes just to soften and add:
2 cans organic tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
Stir and simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add:
4 large cans (28 oz.) organic tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 tomato puree can of water
Add your cooked meatballs into the sauce, bring to a simmer and cook about 3 hours. If the sauce seems too thick at any point, add a little water. Taste the sauce from time to time and add a little salt or sugar. Sometimes it can be too acidic so the sugar really helps. I usually add a couple tablespoons.
Stir often but very carefully as the meatballs are quite delicate and can easily break apart.
When you can’t wait another minute because it smells so fantastic, cook up some pasta, add a loaf of crusty Italian bread, and a green salad!
Best served with family, friends and Battistelli Pasta!
• Instead of or in addition to the meatballs, brown a pound or two of sliced hot or sweet Italian sausage in olive oil. Remove when it’s brown, make your sauce and add the sausage back in and cook just like you do with the meatballs.
• A splash of red wine, maybe 1/2 a cup really makes this sauce sing!
• This recipe is easily cut in half or, doubled.
• This freezes quite well.
• Sometimes, I slice up the meatballs and sausage and use it as a layer in lasagna with the sauce. It is unbelievably good especially if you use a layer of béchamel on the bottom. Oh my.