Monday, July 25, 2011

3 Day Spaghetti And Meatballs

I’ve been working on these suckers for a while now, 3 days to be exact.  If you think back 3 days ago it was HOT outside.  We don’t have central air out in our old country home so the kitchen was pretty darn hot and I worked my butt of to get through day 1. But after all that hard work day 2 and day 3 are pretty straight forward and you’re rewarded with delicious spaghetti and meatballs at the end. 

We both thoroughly enjoyed this meal.  The recipe makes an extra large portion so this is a good one to make for guest or to split up into freezer bags and freeze for a great weeknight meal.  I will definitely plan to make this for guest some time because all of the hard work is done 3 days ahead of time making the day your guests arrive a little more stress free.  Don't forget that another possibility for the meatballs and marinara is to make a meatball sub instead of putting this on spaghetti.

3 Day Spaghetti and Meatballs               


·         2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
·         1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely grated
·         1 cup whole milk
·         3 cups beef broth, divided
·         1 cup chopped fresh parsley
·         6 eggs, beaten
·         4 tbsp dried oregano leaves
·         2 tbsp garlic, minced
·         2 tbsp kosher salt
·         2 tbsp ground black pepper
·         4 tsp dried basil
·         1/2 tsp red pepper flakes1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
·         4 lb. ground chuck, I used ½ veal and ½ beef


1.   In a large mixing bowl stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, 1 cup of beef broth, parsley, eggs, oregano, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, basil, red pepper flakes and nutmeg.  Add ground chuck and mix thoroughly with a fork.  Using a fork prevents over-mixing and compacting which can toughen meatballs.

2.   The best way to shape meatballs is with a portioning scoop that has a retractable blade that releases the meat.  Make each meatball about 2" in diameter or 1.5 ounces each.  Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the meatballs on a pan so they are not touching.  I get 35 meatballs on a tray and this recipe makes two trays so 70 meatballs.

3.   Cover the bottom of the pan with 1 cup of beef broth and bake for 25 minutes at 450 degrees. 

4.   Remove meatballs from pan and pour pan juices into a large, glass (2 cup) measuring cup to be used for the sauce.  Repeat process for second tray of meatballs.  Cool meatballs completely, cover and keep refrigerated until use. 

5.   Once you have pan juices from both trays, place measuring cup in the fridge for the fat to settle on the top (30 minutes).  Remove from the refrigerator and discard settled fat, reserving leftover pan juices.  Set aside.

Three Day Marinara

·         3 cups yellow onion, diced
·         4 tsp garlic, minced
·         3 cans (28 oz. each) whole plum tomatoes
·         Reserved meatball pan drippings
·         ¼ cup dried parsley
·         ½ cup dried basil, I would start with ¼ cup and go from there
·         2 tbsp sugar
·         3 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
·         Parmesan cheese, grated 


Day One

In a large pot (I use my Dutch oven) sauté onions in oil over medium-high heat until translucent (6 minutes).  Stir in garlic and cook until you can smell it (30 seconds).  Add tomatoes, pan drippings from the meatballs, parsley and sugar.  Simmer for one hour on low, uncovered.  Remove from heat.  Let cool completely and place in the fridge overnight.

Day Two

Remove sauce from the refrigerator and puree until smooth in the food processor in small batches.  Return sauce to the pot and add tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for one hour.  Remove from heat.  Let cool completely and place in the fridge overnight.

Day Three

Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer uncovered until heated through, about 1 hour on low and covered.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Stir in the cooked pasta and toss well to coat.  Garnish with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.


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