Meatballs and Marinara over Spaghetti

Are you a cook that likes to make things ahead to save you some time on those busy days? This is a recipe for you! Do you like the classic spaghetti and meatballs? My family does. My husband would eat it every week!

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I have tried many meatballs and marinara sauce recipes, but this is the one that I will use from now on. In my humble opinion, I would call it the best. My husband and toddler eat up these meatballs so I call that ” success”.   Why should you try this recipe? Well….These meatballs and marinara are absolutely delicious. Tender and flavorful meatballs in a simmered marinara sauce served over pasta makes a great dish for your family or company. This recipe does take some time, but it is appealing because you make a big batch and freeze some for later use! Recipes like this can be a life saver for busy wives and mothers. First, you sauté the onions and add the seasonings which flavors the sauce immensely. Then, the meatballs have a golden brown crust with a moist center due to the fact you brush the meatballs with olive oil before baking them in a super hot oven. ( I just recently learned this trick ). Then, the sauce simmers for a while to deepen the flavors.

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Meatballs and Marinara

Note: This sauce simmers a long time so make sure you read all the directions before starting. Also, this recipe feeds my family at least twice. You can freeze the meatballs and sauce separately for up to a month. I recommend wrapping each meatball in plastic wrap and putting in a freezer bag.

Ingredients

Marinara

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion diced

5 garlic cloves minced

2 Tablespoons of oregano

2 Tablespoon of basil

3/4 teaspoon of red pepper

2 teaspoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1- 6 ounce can of tomato paste

3 – 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup of beef broth

1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar or beef broth

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

Meatballs

1 cup of unseasoned bread crumbs or saltines

3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of beef broth

1/2 cup of fresh parsley

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 Tablespoons of dried oregano

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of  ground black pepper

2 teaspoons of dried basil

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper

2 pounds of ground beef

Directions

1.   For the meatballs.  In a large bowl combine all the ingredients together except the meat. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes so the breadcrumbs soak up the liquid quite a bit. Then, add in the ground meat. Mix with your hands just until combined.

2. Preheat the oven to 475. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly grease the foil. Form golf ball size meatballs and place on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes ( until the meatballs are well browned ).

3. For the sauce.  Heat oil in big sauce pan over medium heat and add onions. Cook until softened and lightly browned about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes and cook till fragrant about 30 seconds.

4. Add tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Then add beef broth, red wine vinegar, salt and sugar. Cook until a little thick like 2 minutes then add the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese.

5. Serve over whole wheat or brown rice pasta or the pasta of your choice.

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