I haven't had spaghetti since I was a little girl. I developed a food allergy when I was in sixth grade that made me really sick when I ate canned tomato products. Since then, I have pretty much steered clear of spaghetti. When this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge was announced: Spaghetti with Red Sauce, I went on the hunt for a recipe that didn't use any sauces, but used just tomatoes.
I ran into No Recipes, which is written by Marc, who describes himself as loving food since he could see over the kitchen counter. I loved looking over the recipes in his blog and have pinned recipes such as his Crispy Zucchini Fritters
and Strawberry Lemon Bars to make in the future. But I loved that his spaghetti recipe didn't call for any canned tomato ingredients.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
slightly adapted from No Recipes
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and minced tomatoes (about 1 medium tomato)
12 ounces ground beef
6 ounces ground pork
4 ounces ricotta cheese
1/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated
3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 large onion minced
4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (about 8 medium tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried Italian spices
parsley, minced for garnish
whole wheat spaghetti (measured per individual)
1) Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil until tender and starting to brown. Add the tomatoes then continue frying until there is no liquid left in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
2) In a large bowl, add the beef, pork, ricotta, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan, thyme, parsley, soy sauce, salt and pepper along with the tomato and onion mixture. Put some gloves on and use your hands to knead the mixture together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
3) Use your hands to roll the meat into 1 1/2″ balls. The mixture will be pretty loose, so if you have trouble forming it into balls, put it in the fridge for a bit to stiffen up.
4) Heat a frying pan up over medium high heat, then add 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry the meatballs in batches, gently rolling them around to maintain their shape until browned on all sides.
5) Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil and set aside for the sauce.
1) Sauté the garlic and onions until translucent in the oil that was set aside from the meatballs.
2) Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and salt then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3) Add the meatballs into the tomato sauce along with any collected juices. Turn the heat down to low and gently simmer for 1 hour. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of dried Italian spices.
1) Boil some spaghetti al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, then toss the pasta together with the sauce. Plate the spaghetti, then top each serving with meatballs, minced parsley and parmesan cheese.
I liked this spaghetti a lot. We had plenty for leftovers, and I believe that the leftovers were much better than the original meal. The flavors developed deeper as they sat in my fridge. In the initial meal, you couldn't really taste the garlic, so I've changed the amount in the recipe to reflect what I believe would be a better amount. The meatballs were great. I thought that there were maybe too many ingredients and the flavors would be overpowering, but they all worked together. I'll definitely make this recipe again, especially when tomatoes are in season.
Check out the links below to see additional Spaghetti with Red Sauce recipes: