Nothing tastes better when it’s cold outside than comfort food. I'm talking about the food we grew up with, the food our Mother’s cooked, simple, flavorful and fulfilling. This classic recipe from Marcella Hazan, speaks to those memories. So easy, with just 4 ingredients, the flavor is simply sublime. Meatballs are my son-in-law's favorite, so much so that my daughter now throws him a meatball party for his birthday every January. Inspired by my daughter Lily, these tasty meatballs are super easy and are baked not fried so you are free to get other bites ready while they're baking. Serve as sliders to a Super Bowl crowd (Go Niners!!) or over pasta with more Parmesan and a little chopped parsley for an easy dinner.
Marcella Hazan’s Really Simple Tomato Sauce
1 - 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
6 T unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
pinch of salt
Place the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt. Heat to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed. Discard the onion before serving. This sauce is incredibly versatile:
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb mild Italian sausage
1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
2 T milk or half & half
2 T good red wine (or all milk or 1/2 and 1/2)
2 T finely chopped parsley
2 T grated Parmesan
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of red pepper flakes and/or freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t onion powder
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T currants (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place meat, bread crumbs, milk, red wine, parsley, cheese, salt, pepper, onion powder, eggs, garlic and currants (if using) in a large bowl. Mix everything together with your clean hands until evenly mixed. Form mixture into 2-inch meatballs (I used a 2 tablespoon scoop) and arrange on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed lightly with non stick spray. Roast for 12 minutes, until cooked through (you can cut one in half to see if they're done).
Grab some slider buns, top with a meatball, spoon over some sauce, add grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley for color. Don’t forget the napkins!
If doing spaghetti and meatballs, just heat the meatballs in the sauce for 10 minutes before tossing with the pasta.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"