From my experience, personally, spaghetti and meatballs is a meal that flies under the radar. While I sit in class every day thinking about what I want to make for dinner and how I can outdo my last meal spaghetti and meatballs do not generally come to mind. However it is fantastic comfort food, a meal that will never disappoint.
Growing up spaghetti was a staple in my family, I remember coming home after soccer practices just in time for that weekly TV show and my parents dishing me up some leftover spaghetti and meatsauce from that nights dinner and shoveling it down, enjoying every bite. Meatsauce was the variation my parents like the best, that was easy yet filling and always a hit. But now, I prefer to make meatballs. meatballs allow for hidden surprises, the ability to include ingredients no one would expect until they take that bite and enjoy it too much to opt out.
One great thing about spaghetti and meatballs is that everyone can alter it to make it just perfect for their taste. Some people like very little pasta but heaps of meat and sauce, others like a lot of pasta and very little sauce. If I had my way I would drench the pasta in as much sauce as I could get my hands on and then sop up all the extra sauce with good french bread. But…that is in an ideal world, I dont always have enough sauce or the right bread.
This particular recipe for spaghetti and meatballs is one that I found in a healthy eating cookbook that I have and was pleasently surprised at each surprise I found as I ate the delicious meal.
Spaghetti with Turkey meatballs
ingredients for meatballs: 1 lb ground turkey (can be ground beef), 1/2 c grated carrot, 1/2 c chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic (smashed and chopped fine), 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley (or dried if you dont have fresh), 1 egg, 1/2 c dried bread crumbs, 1/4c parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste
other ingredients: spaghetti (half a package), sauce to taste.
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl until well mixed.
2. form 1″ balls with the mixture and place on a baking try sprayed with nonstick spray. ( if you want the meatballs larger go for it! that’s another personal preference type of deal). place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
3. boil water in large pot for the pasta and add the pasta when the water is boiling. Cook the pasta until desired done-ness. (yet another personal preference deal– i personally like my pasta a little al dente)
4. while pasta is cooking place the sauce in a pot on the stove on low heat to warm up. Add the meatballs to the sauce after 20 minutes in the oven to finish cooking. Turn up heat on the sauce once the meatballs are added and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
5. serve up and enjoy!
* I served the pasta and meatballs with a spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing along with scalloped potatoes (but that is another post all together)
** I have also made these meatballs in advance and frozen them and they thaw out great when added to sauce. I actually made them before a camping trip and they turned out quite well (even on a camping stove)