Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rigatoni and Meatballs (Ree Drummond)

 (Review by Tammy)

Who doesn't love pasta and meatballs?  Meatballs are my favorite.  These are really good-I of course added more spices 'cause we've got to have a little more flavor down here.  

6 thick slices crusty bread
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
3/4 up freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red wine, optional
One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
12 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (optional)
2 pounds rigatoni, cooked al dente (I forgot to buy rigatoni, so I just used the pasta I already had.)

1.  Place the bread on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 200 oven or until totally dry.

2.  Break the bread into chunks...

3.  And pulse until the bread turns into crumbs.

4.  Throw the meat into a large mixing bowl.

5.  Add the garlic, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, grated Parmesan, milk, salt and pepper.  Use clean hands to mix together until well combined.

6.  Use a scoop to retrieve a small amount of the meat mixture...

7.  And roll in your hands to make meatballs (about 25).  Place the pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, just to firm them up.

8.  Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Working with 8-10 meatballs at a time, cook them until brown but not cooked all the way through, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.

9.  Remove from the pan to a plate while you make the rigatoni and sauce.

10.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan.  Stir and cook for a minute or two, until the onion begins to soften.

11.  Add the wine and cook for another minute.  (I omitted this step)

12.  Add the crushed tomatoes...

13.  Whole tomatoes...

14.  Salt, pepper and sugar...

15.  And parsley and basil.

16.  Stir the sauce to combine all the ingredients...Cover and reduce the heat to simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

17.  Then throw in the meatballs!

18.  Stir gently, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the meatballs are cooked through.

19.  Heap the rigatoni on a large platter and pile the meatballs and sauce on the top.  Sprinkle on some extra minces parsley and serve with extra grated Parmesan.  

Good, good!

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