Meatballs. Such a simple and basic pasta topping and yet it’s something that we don’t make that often in our own kitchens. This certainly was a first for me! It was a cold Saturday evening (remember that cold snap that Los Angeles had?) and I didn’t want to leave the apartment so I was looking through my freezer and cupboards and found about 1/3 pound of ground beef. I didn’t want to just make a meat sauce so I popped open my cookbook Weeknights With Giada and found a super easy meatball recipe! Her recipe was for mini meatball sandwiches, but I just made the meatballs. I didn’t have the corn flakes or the romano cheese but I did have breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, so I substituted them. Don’t be afraid to use substitutions if you don’t have something. You’ll also find my recipe for homemade tomato pasta sauce. This was a super fun and super easy recipe and I highly recommend it, especially if you have kids as they can make it with you.
GIADA’S MEATBALLS (makes about 12-16 meatballs)
- 1/4 Cup Finely Crushed Corn Flakes (I used breadcrumbs)
- 1 Tbsp Chopped fresh Flat Leaf Parsley Leaves (I used Oregano since I had no parsley)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Ketchup
- 2 Tbsp Grated Romano Cheese (I used Parmesan)
- 1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
- 8 oz. Ground Beef
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Set aside a cookie sheet and line with a parchment paper if it’s not non-stick. In a medium bowl stir together your corn flakes/breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, oil, ketchup, cheese, salt and pepper. Add in your ground beef and mix to combine. I used my fingers rather than a spoon to mix in the beef. Once thoroughly mixed, roll into balls about one inch in diameter and place on cookie sheet evenly spaced apart. They should all fit on one cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
HOMEMADE PASTA SAUCE
- 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes (14 oz)
- 1 Can of Tomato Sauce (8 oz)
- 1 Tbsp (about) Dried Oregano
- 1 Tbsp (about) Dried Parsley or Fresh Parsley chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
While your meatballs are cooking work on your spaghetti and pasta sauce. Put a pot of water on to boil for your pasta. In another medium pot on low heat combine all your ingredients, stirring occasionally. Once your water is boiling add in your pasta (2 oz. for each serving) and cook for about 7 minutes. Let your pasta sauce cook for at least 15 minutes on low heat so that all the flavors are absorbed. I keep mine on the heat until I’m ready to eat. Once your pasta and meatballs are done, serve your pasta with about 4 meatballs and a scoop of hot sauce. Top with fresh cheese and enjoy! I paired it with a delicious red wine I got at a Christmas party gift exchange, Poggiotondo Rosso Toscana 2010. It’s a red blend and while I normally don’t like blends, this one was quite good and I’d readily buy it again.