Classic Beef Meatballs in Classic Tomato Sauce from The Meatball Shop in NYC
Roast meatballs in a 450 degree F oven for 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through and have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
For the Classic Tomato Sauce:
Heat olive oil in large pot (I used a skillet) over medium heat. Add onions, bay leaf (I omitted), oregano, garlic and salt, and cook for 10 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent.
Add the tomato paste. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir until sauce boils. Lower the heat and simmer. At this point, I added the meatballs (which I made the day before and refrigerated) and simmered for the next 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti. Serve meatballs and tomato sauce over cooked pasta.
Sprinkle some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top and you are good to go!
Classic Beef Meatballs and Classic Tomato Sauce
Classic Beef Meatballs
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pounds 80% lean ground beef (we used 93/7% lean)
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano OR 1 tsp. dried
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
4 cups *Classic Tomato Sauce (below)
1. Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
2. Roll the mixture into round, golf-ball-sized meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. For a perfect sized-ball, use an ice-cream scoop, it will make this process 10x easier. Place the balls in the 9×13 inch baking dish drizzled with olive oil. Be careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
3. In a preheated oven set to 450 degrees F, roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165 degrees F.
4. While the meatball are roasting, heat the tomato sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often.
5. When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan. Add meatballs to sauce and simmer.
* Classic Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1/3 tsp. dried
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp. salt or to taste
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 (28-ounce cans) whole plum tomatoes, chopped with their liquid (I halved the recipe and used one 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes and one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaf, oregano, garlic and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour (I simmered for 30 minutes), stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the sauce on the bottom of the pot from burning. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Yield: about 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch meatballs and 7 cups sauce; 4 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs = 1 serving
Recipe from: The Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow with Laura Deen
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