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Hi, I'm Molly.

Welcome to my food blog and try not to lick the screen. 

My favorite question to ask people is, "what is your death row meal?" Mine is pumpkin ravioli in a sage cream sauce from Girasole. Or pizza.  Or fancy tacos.

Photo: Randi Voss Photography

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I’ve made many meatball recipes over the years but I think this ingredient list and method are my favorite. By combining everything but the meat ahead of time you get an even distribution of flavors in every bite.

Ingredients and Instructions

You’ll need a food processor.

  • 2 lbs. ground meat - a blend of beef, veal, and pork

  • 8 oz. finely diced pancetta or prosciutto

  • 2 slices Italian bread, crusts removes and soaked in milk

  • 1/2 cup or so Panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 small onion

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced basil

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Add the diced pancetta to a skillet with a wee bit of olive oil and sauté until it just starts to brown but isn’t crispy.  Remove from the heat, scoop out the meat and transfer to a paper towel. Leave as much leftover oil in the pan as you can.

Put the milk soaked bread in the food processor give it a few pulses to break down the bread. Set aside in a large bowl.  

Chop the onion into large pieces and add to the food processor along with the peeled garlic cloves. Blend until it resembles a pulp. If it doesn’t look like a pulp, with the machine running, drizzle in some milk until you get the pulp look. Add this mixture to the large bowl with the bread mush. 

To the bowl with onion and garlic pulp and the bread slop, add the tomato paste, pancetta, herbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and eggs and mix everything until combined. It ain’t pretty but as I mentioned earlier, I like this method because it allows for even distribution of ingredients and flavors in each meatball. 

Now add the meat and mix together with clean hands. If it’s looking too soggy you can add some breadcrumbs. If it’s looking too dry you can add some milk. 

Roll into balls any size you’d like - I usually aim for golf ball size. Arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. It’s okay if they haven’t cooked all the way through because they will finish cooking in the sauce. (If you’re not going to cook them in sauce, bake for 10 more minutes)

The Sauce

My spaghetti sauce recipe is fairly basic but by allowing the meatballs to hang out in the sauce they add a lot of flavor.

  • 1 small onions, diced

  • 3 glaringly cloves, smashed

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 large can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 large can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

  • Parmesan cheese rind

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper

  • fresh basil

  • fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Remember that leftover oil from the pancetta? It is going to be the start of the sauce - BOOM. To a large pot, add the onion and garlic to the grease and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir around for 2 minutes, Add the San Marzano tomatoes, salt and pepper, and Parmesan rind and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the meatballs and simmer for 30 minutes or longer if you want. When you’re ready to serve, fish out the Parmesan rind and garlic cloves and discard. Add as much fresh basil and parsley as you’d like plus the butter and stir until melted and combined.

Serve as a meatball sub or over spaghetti and enjoy!

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