A simple Sunday dinner classic & a crowd pleaser.
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 large garlic cloves, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, such as Muir Glen
- About 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- About 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large fresh basil sprigs, plus 1/2 cup leaves
- About 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cracked fennel seeds*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- About 2/3 cup cold dry white wine, divided
- 4 ounces country bread such as pain au levain, crusts removed, cut into 1-in. cubes
- 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 3/4 pound cold ground pork
- 3/4 pound cold ground turkey (dark meat)
- 3/4 pound cold ground beef chuck
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
- About 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Make sauce: In a 5- to 6-qt. pan, cook oil and garlic over medium-low heat until garlic softens, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If needed, crush tomatoes with a spoon to break up. Stir in basil sprigs. Turn off heat; keep warm.
- Meanwhile, make meatballs: Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms, fennel, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup wine and the bread until liquid is absorbed.
- Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Scrape into bowl of a stand mixer and let cool. Add parsley, meats, and 1/3 cup wine and beat on low speed until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Using wet hands, shape meat into 1 1/2-in. balls. Heat 2 large frying pans over medium heat with 1 tbsp. oil each. Brown about a third of meatballs in each pan, turning once and adding oil if needed, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. With a slotted spatula, transfer meatballs to a platter. Repeat with remaining meatballs and oil.
- Scrape all the drippings into 1 pan. Whisk in flour, then cook over medium heat until bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in 2 cups sauce to loosen browned bits. Scrape into pan with rest of sauce and stir.
- Return sauce to a simmer. Gently stir in meatballs; simmer, covered, until flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Discard basil sprigs. Cut remaining basil leaves into fine slivers and stir into sauce. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti as package directs.
- Drain pasta and transfer to a large shallow bowl. Ladle all the meatballs and about half the sauce on top, and toss to coat. Serve with cheese and extra sauce.
- *Crack fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle, or buzz in a clean coffee grinder.
- Make ahead: Chill sauce and meatballs up to 1 day, or freeze up to 1 month.
with Martha Rose Shulman, Mark Peel, Campanile, Los Angeles, CA, New Classic Family Dinners,
See full post here: Annabelle Breakey Photography :: Blog2013-01-27.