Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I Made for Dinner: November 23, 2009

Spaghetti and meatballs.

This week I've been loose with the meal planning because of Thanksgiving coming up. So I had no plan yesterday after school, when I asked the boys what they wanted for dinner.

"Spaghetti sauce!"

When my kids ask for meatballs, they mean, of course, those meatballs simmered for four hours in our family spaghetti sauce. It obviously wasn't going to happen the way they were imagining it, but I could manage something. This sauce was done in twenty minutes, but I let it simmer for about an hour or so to deepen the flavors.

1 pound ground beef chuck (80% lean), formed into 2-in meatballs
3 T olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 T minced garlic
one 15-ounce can tomatoes (I used whole tomatoes in their juices. Diced or pureed would have worked just as well.)
2 T tomato paste, or sun-dried tomatoes pureed in the food processor
8-10 ounces red wine
2 t each dried oregano and dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, heat one T of the olive oil and brown the meatballs.

In a 4-6 quart pot, warm the rest of the olive oil. Saute the onions until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and saute until just golden. Add the rest of the ingredients. If using whole tomatoes, break them up with a wooden spoon. Add the browned meatballs. Simmer the whole thing at low heat for at least 20 minutes, or longer according to taste. Before serving, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.

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