Spaghetti with Mozzarella-Cheddar Parsley Meatballs

A recipe that takes a little more time than your typical pasta recipe, but is worth the result. This is an adaption from a 2013 recipe featured in Toronto Life

Video Demonstration:

Ingredients:

For: Tomato Sauce

2 (28 oz/795 grams) Cans Tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
5½-oz can tomato paste
1/2 Cup Basil + 1/2 Cup Parsley, coarsely chopped
½ Teaspoon Salt + Pepper
1 Teaspoon Crushed Chili Flakes + 1 Teaspoon Oregano

1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 bay leaf

2 Pounds (900 Grams) Spaghetti

For: Meatballs

1 1/2 – 2 Pounds (680-900 Grams) Extra Lean Ground Beef
2 Slices of Day Old Bread, cubed
¼ Cup (60ml) Whole Milk
1 small onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Egg, lightly beaten
¼ Cup Parmesan, grated
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

½ tsp salt and pepper
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Pound (227 Grams) Mozzarella/Cheddar, cut into cubes (or more if desired) *I use a mix of cheeses, but you can use only 1 if desired*

IMG_5681

Method:

1. Add canned tomatoes and juices in a food processor or in a high bowl with an emersion blender. Puree, strain through a sieve and discard seeds.

2. Over medium heat, add olive oil to an ovenproof pot. After 1 minute, add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and continue to maintain on medium stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.

3. Add pureed tomatoes, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley + basil, salt + pepper and spices. Bring up to a boil.

4. Lower heat, slightly cover and stir occassionly for about 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Toss the bay leaf.

5. For the meatballs, in a large bowl, place cubes of bread and pour milk overtop (all cubes should be moistened). Let sit for about 20 minutes. Drain out extra moisture after 20 minutes.

6. Add in ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, cheese, parsley, salt + pepper until combined.

7. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Form meatballs by first shaping into a patty, place cheese cubes into the centre and wrap the meat in a ball shape around the cheese. Repeat process until all meat and cheese are used. Place on a lined sheet of parchment or wax paper on cookie or baking sheet with sides.

8. Coat meatballs with a little bit of olive oil and bake in oven for about 10 minutes.

9. As meatballs are baking, boil spaghetti in salty water (about 1/2 teaspoon for every 3 cups of water)

10. Once meatballs have browned, add to sauce and cook over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes.

11. Once pasta is al dente (typically 1-2 minutes under instructed cooking time), strain and add to meatball sauce.

12. Lower heat in oven to about 300F/150C and bake in oven for about 10 minutes

13. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.

14. Enjoy!

Serves at least 8 people.

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