My 79 year old dad said spaghetti and meatballs is one of his favorite foods…I think this is funny coming from a Korean father whose primary diet is Korean and Japanese food. He says whenever he is at the Food Court at Ala Moana Center he goes to Mama’s Spaghetti House and has Spaghetti and Meatballs. As much as I love to cook, I realized I really haven’t cooked a real dinner for my dear dad. It brings me such joy to prepare a home-cooked meal for those I love and I can’t believe that I cannot even remember ever cooking him a decent meal! The man I love the most! Really????
I decide I’m going to make him a homemade meal with his favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs!
I start googling as many recipes as I can and find a few that I can combine, then add my own tweaks. Then I start thinking, “well if I’m going to make meatballs, I want to make a lot so my dinner guests can take some home”…then “oh, I should make some extra for a few friends because who wouldn’t welcome some homemade meatballs!”…” I really hope they turn out okay”… “What am I going to feed the guests if they don’t turn out tasting awful” ..my mind starts spinning endlessly of meatballs and how to make sure to serve a perfect dinner. Of course I made them the day before so I have time for a REDO if they are a disaster plus they taste better after soaking in the sauce for a day.
This is what started my 101 Meatball Journey… I call it this for two reasons… It was my own introductory lesson to myself in making meatballs and secondly, that’s about how many meatballs I ended up making.
I want to make a hearty sauce as well so I decide to make a Meat Sauce.
Remember I need to make A LOT of sauce and meatballs to share with dinner guests and friends so I start with 6 bottles of Marinara Sauce that I will put some love into so it tastes like it’s made from scratch.
Chop and sautée lots of onions and garlic… to your taste
I also added finely chopped Carrot, Garlic Powder, Salt, Crushed Red Pepper, Nutmeg, Dried Thyme, Basil and Oregano. I finish it off with some Honey to cut the acid, Butter and MILK! (cream is good too)
I let is simmer and simmer and simmer…
I now bottle some of this sauce. A couple bottles for me to freeze and save and a couple bottles for guests to take home and this will provide them an easy future meal they can just have to defrost. I still have a large pot of this meat sauce that I will add the meatballs to.
Now it’s time for the meatballs! You can modify to your liking, but from the recipes I gathered this is what I decided on and remember, I used about 10 pounds of meat and sausage total, so I had to triple/quadruple the ingredients as well. For a one meal batch of meatballs here is what you need, these would be the measurements.
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- Italian Sausage with the casing removed
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned Bread Crumbs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Onion (chopped)
- 2 large Eggs
- 3 cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 1 cup of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic powder
- – Crushed Red Pepper –
- – Oregano
- First sautee the chopped onion in butter and little olive oil. Set aside to cool. Sautee the minced garlic
- In a big bowl – Season the ground beef with garlic powder and salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and oregano
- Add the Italian sausage that was removed from the casing
- Add eggs, milk, parmesan cheese, sauteed onion, garlic, bread crumbs and choppped italian parsley
- Mix all ingredients together well but VERY GENTLY. If you over-work the mixture, you will have tough hard meatballs. You want them moist and tender so mix it very carefully.
- Refrigerate the mixture for an hour to chill
- With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls GOLF BALL SIZE – Make sure hands are wet and don’t roll the balls too tightly or they will be tough.
- Lay in a baking pan, which I cover with a few layers of foil to make cleaning easier.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.
After a long day of making meat sauce and meatballs, this is what I ended up with. Lots for dinner and lots for guests to take home. I was able to also share with 2 of my friends and their families and even my neighbors!
Since I’m making such a simple entrée, I decide to create a salad that will be more appealing to the eye. A salad quartet is what I came up with. This included a Caprese Salad, Roasted Beet Tower with Goat Cheese, Arugula Salad with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and Walnuts and a Carrot Ring with Artichoke Crown
All in all.. it was a memorable dinner and quality family time that I will always remember preparing and most importantly EATING!