Classic Spaghetti Marinara and Meatballs from Maria Papa

Posted at: 02/05/2014 4:55 PM
Updated at: 02/09/2014 9:53 AM
By: Amy Adamchick

Classic Spaghetti Marinara and Meatball from Maria Papa of Perreca's

For the Meatballs:

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

1 lb. ground veal

note: ground brisket can be substituted for the pork in non-pork consuming households. Also, ground turkey can be substituted for the ground beef to cut down on fat.

1 cup chopped onion

2 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 cup Perreca’s Bread breadcrumbs

1/2 cup whole milk

6 eggs

1 cup grated cheese (parmesan Romano blend)1/2 cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

2-3 leaves fresh basil

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1. “Sweat” onions & garlic either in microwave (covered) or on the stovetop over low heat until just translucent – set aside.

2. Soak the Perreca’s breadcrumbs in whole milk – set aside.

3. Incorporate 3 types of ground beef in a large bowl. Add onions/garlic mixture. Add eggs. When eggs are completely incorporated, add the remainder of the ingredients, saving the breadcrumb, milk mixture for last.

4. Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to mold meatballs onto parchment covered baking sheet;

5. Place meatballs in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes

6. Reduce heat to 325 and bake meatballs for an additional 30 minutes

7. Finish cooking meatballs in a pot of hot marinara sauce for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Serve over your favorite pasta

Marinara Sauce

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 chopped garlic

1 can plum tomato

1 can crushed tomato

1 cup water

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. granulated onion

1 Tbsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

3-4 leaves fresh basil

Heat the olive oil on medium high heat, then set to low before adding the onion and garlic.

Allow onion / garlic to sweat for at least 10-15 minutes at the lowest heat possible (longer is better and will garner a more flavorful marinara sauce). Do not allow onion / garlic to turn brown. If it does, you’ll have to start over!

Add the plum tomatoes – first bruising with manual squeezing – the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Stir and increase heat to medium temperature.

Add the rest of ingredients – except the fresh basil – and cook on medium heat for about two hours.

Tear fresh basil leaves and add after about 1.5 hours of cooking. Never mince fresh basil with a food processor. It completely changes the constitution and flavor of the herb.

Prepare the pasta of your choice according to package instructions. Drain. and toss in marinara sauce. Top with meatballs and serve with grated cheese and red pepper flakes on the side.