Comfort Food: Italian-American Spaghetti and Meatballs
My neighbors are Italian-Americans from New York City. Those two can cook like nobody’s business. Most Italian-Americans can cook like nobody’s business. Ten pounds may have found its way to my body alone on their homemade desserts and cookies. Not alone from their spaghetti and meatballs.
Bob who’s family is originally from Sicily – and yes I know most Sicilians and Italians will agree that Sicily isn’t really Italy – tells stories of Sunday dinners. Coming back from church, the smells of tomato sauce simmering on the stove came from apartment’s kitchen window. Sunday dinner was tomato sauce with sausages, meatballs, and oxtails simmered all day to perfection.
To me, spaghetti and meatballs are the ultimate comfort food even though I am not Italian-American. I love making it. It is a process of love. Forming the meatballs. Making the sauce. The smell of it all on the stove. The look of it on the plate. Lastly, the taste of complete satisfaction. You will overeat when you make this. And that’s OK.
Italian-American Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- 4-6 stems fresh oregano
- 2-4 stems fresh rosemary
- 2-4 stems fresh basil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and basil and cooking until the herbs become crisp.
- Remove the herbs and discard.
- Add the onion and garlic to the oil cooking until the onions are transparent.
- Add diced tomatoes.
- Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, garlic powder, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a little bit of water.
- Mix until well blended.
- Form into 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Set aside and allow them to rest.
- Heat oil in large pan.
- Brown meatballs on all sides.
- Place in tomato sauce allowing them to cook through.