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Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell Photo by: Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

Spaghetti and Meatballs

"I don't remember having spaghetti and meatballs as a child at home; we had polpette, which had the shape of crab cakes. Spaghetti and meatballs, on the other hand, is a big Italian American dish, a cuisine born out of the early Italian immigrants adapting to the New World." -Lidia Matticchio Bastianich

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2003

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup pasta mixture, 1/2 cup sauce, and 3 meatballs)

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 5 (14.5-ounce) cans no salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 large egg white
  • Cooking spray
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

To prepare sauce, place half of the tomatoes in a food processor, and process until smooth. Pour pureed tomatoes into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomatoes.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in pureed tomatoes, red pepper, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves. Keep warm.

To prepare meatballs, preheat oven to 400°. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup cheese, and the next 7 ingredients (cheese through egg white). Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) meatballs, and place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until done. Add meatballs to sauce; cook over low heat 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta; return to pot. Spoon about 2 cups tomato sauce (leaving meatballs in pan) into pasta, and toss well to coat. Transfer pasta mixture to a platter; top with remaining sauce and meatballs. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 449
  • Calories from fat: 25%
  • Fat: 12.5g
  • Saturated fat: 4.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Protein: 27.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 58.3g
  • Fiber: 4.9g
  • Cholesterol: 50mg
  • Iron: 4.8mg
  • Sodium: 633mg
  • Calcium: 239mg
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Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe

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