This is a brand new series on The Broke Girl Blog and it’s called “Sunday Dinners”- basically, all of those meals our mama’s and grandma’s and dad’s and grand-dad’s did so well that we somehow just don’t know how to make ourselves.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Actually… my mom’s got you because she’s the one who taught me this. Also, I texted her like eighty times writing this. I had to get it authentic, guys. That’s not code for “Mom always does it but I help” at alllllllll.
These won’t be the cheapest meals in the world- these are the ones all of the cheap cooking can help you afford, so you can do that favorite meal every now and again, or when it’s a special Sunday.
Traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs
1 Pack ground pork (~3/4 pd)
1 Pack ground beef (~3/4 pd)
2 slices of bread dried overnight
grated parmesan cheese (~1 cup)
salt and pepper
Optional: Herbs like fresh parsley if available
2 jars passata (pureed tomatoes, typically strained, but anything works so long as it’s smooth. Avoid crushed tomatoes as that’s what will make huge gloopy bubbles as you cook it- you want something more tomato sauce consistency)
Salt and Pepper
Optional: herbs like fresh parsley (to finish), and Italian seasoning as available. A pinch of crushed red peppers is nice, too!
Your first to-do with this recipe is to get your sauce going. Mince your garlic and dice your onions, and get them softening down in olive oil with salt and pepper. Once they’re fully softened, add your passata and bring to a bubble while you make your meatballs.
To make your meatballs, put your pork and ground beef into a mixing bowl. Add your grated cheese and a light amount of salt and pepper. Pour milk over your dried bread to rehydrate, and then lightly squish out any excess into a separate bowl by lightly closing your hand over it, and discard the excess liquid. You’ll finish by adding the rehydrated bread to the mixing bowl as well.
To make the meatballs, mix the ingredients with your hands until they are just mixed- try not to overmix as that will make dense, tough meatballs. Roll them in your hands to ping-pong ball size- any bigger and they won’t cook as fast.
Once you’re done rolling meatballs, put them in your sauce and poach them on simmer for about an hour. I recommend using a meat thermometer to confirm they’re fully cooked. When tasting, if passata is too sweet, add a bit of balsamic vinegar.
At this point, throw a pot of fresh pasta on the stove and while it cooks, pull your meatballs out into a dish along with enough of the sauce to coat them (see picture below).
Keep the remaining sauce in the pot, and add the drained pasta once it’s fully cooked to your preferences. This keeps the noodles from sticking. Keeping the components separate makes it easy to get just the right portion while not tearing noodles.
Serve with more grated parmesan and the red wine of your choice.
What did you have for Sunday dinner this week?