Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spaghetti with Stuffed Meatballs

The Williams-Sonoma catalog published this recipe with mouth-watering pictures. I adapted the recipe to lower the calories by using light ingredients and baking instead of frying. It turned out really good. Even my husband who doesn't like ground beef liked it. This recipe is great for gatherings because it can feed a crowd on a budget.
This dish + friends + red wine = party.

Spaghetti with Stuffed Meatballs (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

1/3 cup skim milk
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 lbs. lean ground beef
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 lb. mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
About 6 cups homemade tomato sauce
2 lb. spaghetti, cooked and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread crumbs. Add the ground beef, the 1/3 cup parsley, the eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix briefly with your hands. Form the mixture into 2-inch balls. Press a mozzarella cheese cube into the center of each ball, sealing it inside.

Place meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.

Put the pasta in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Top with the sauce and meatballs and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and pass the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.

Serves 10 to 12.


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