How To Make Meatballs For Spaghetti
There’s nothing quite like a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs. The combination of tender pasta, flavorful tomato sauce, and succulent meatballs is a classic comfort food. Making your own meatballs from scratch allows you to control the ingredients and tailor them to your taste preferences. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, follow these steps to create delicious meatballs for your spaghetti dish.
– 1 pound ground beef
– 1/2 pound ground pork
– 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
– 1 egg, lightly beaten
– 1/4 cup milk
1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and ground pork. Mix them together using your hands to ensure even distribution.
2. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the meat mixture. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Pour this mixture into the meat mixture and continue to mix until everything is fully combined. The addition of the milk makes the meatballs tender and moist.
4. Once the meat mixture is well combined, begin shaping it into meatballs. Roll a tablespoon-sized portion of the mixture between your palms to form a ball. Repeat the process until all the meat mixture is used.
5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the meatballs in the skillet, leaving some space between each ball. Cook the meatballs for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides. This step gives the meatballs a nice crust and locks in the flavors.
6. At this point, you can choose to finish cooking the meatballs in the tomato sauce or bake them in the oven. If finishing in the tomato sauce, transfer the browned meatballs to your prepared sauce, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. If baking, preheat your oven to 375°F and place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are cooked through.
7. Once the meatballs are fully cooked, serve them over a plate of freshly cooked spaghetti and your favorite tomato sauce. Sprinkle some additional grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and basil on top for added flavor and presentation.
Q: Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef and pork?
A: Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken can be substituted for beef and pork if you prefer a lighter option. Just note that the flavor and texture may be slightly different.
Q: Can I freeze the meatballs?
A: Yes, you can freeze the cooked meatballs for later use. Allow them to cool completely, place them in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag, and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Q: Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 1 day before cooking. This can be a great time-saving option for busy weeknights.
Q: Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?
A: While fresh herbs provide the best flavor, you can use dried herbs if that’s what you have on hand. Just remember that dried herbs are more potent, so use about half the amount called for in the recipe.
Q: How do I know if the meatballs are cooked through?
A: The easiest way to determine if the meatballs are cooked is by using an instant-read thermometer. Insert it into the center of a meatball, and it should register at least 160°F.
Do not be intimidated by making your own meatballs for spaghetti. With these simple steps, you’ll be able to create flavorful and tender meatballs that will enhance your spaghetti dish. Experiment with different seasonings and sauces to make it your own. Enjoy!