Showing posts with label Pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pasta. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Basil Tomato Sauce with Meatballs and Pasta

When Mooch and I was kids, we loved foil-wrapped Easter eggs, the ones that are three parts wax, one part chocolate. The parents threw them about the house before we woke with the sun on Easter morning. Neon straw baskets in hand, we combatively hunted eggs. Racing our three siblings, jostling for position, we attacked the eggs, all the while stalking the big one: The bunny. Dang, those hollow, food-colouring scalloped bunnies were good.

This story is meant as a sidetrack. I dangle the chocolate bunny as a distraction. I didn't cook with whole grains this week. Not one lousy thing. (Haley and I are on mission to cook with whole grains and post our recipes during the months of May and June). I made chocolate hot cross buns. I poached a chicken. Bulgar, barley, couscous and kumet played hooky from my plate.

I did make meatballs and tomato sauce. (Mooch will remember that I abhorred this dish as a child but have seen the error of my ways, reformed, and embrace it adoringly.)

Basil Tomato Sauce with Meatballs and Pasta

For the sauce

one and a half cups finely chopped onions

5 garlic cloves, minced (more if you'd like)

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)

2 large cans of whole tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

a handful of chopped basil

a spoon of sugar

a shot of red wine (not necessary but dang good)

salt and pepper to taste

Put a glug of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil warms, add the onions, garlic, and hot red pepper flakes and lower the heat. Cook over low, stirring occasionally for ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, paste, and basil. Use a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break up the tomatoes so they are no longer whole but sauce-like. Add the wine and a little sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and the meatballs. Simmer for one to two hours. You can get away with forty five minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

For the Meatballs

1 piece of bread

1/2 a cup milk

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup minced onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced

a handful of parsley, minced (you can sub green onions or a herb of your choice)

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.

Soak the bread in the milk. Wring it out a place it in a wide bowl. Add the beef, onions, garlic, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix until just combined (over-mixing will create dry meatballs). Place the meatballs in roaster or on a cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes.

Cook your noodles according to the package directions. I often use shells or linguine.