Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grandma LaVallee's Spaghetti & Meatballs!

Now that the weather has started to turn, the buzz on the boards has been comfort food.  Several dishes come to mind when I think of my favorite comfort foods, but Grandma LaVallee's Spaghetti & Meatballs sits pretty close to the top!  Anyone who has tried Grandma's coveted Lemon Bar recipe cannot dispute that this woman knew her way around the kitchen!  The recipe I give you today is an authentic Italian recipe.  The story goes that after WWII, Grandma & Grandpa LaVallee lived next door to an Italian couple.  Grandma would cook for her neighbors and the Italian couple would cook for them.  This wonderful Spaghetti & Meatball recipe made its way into our family as a result of this friendship.  We all miss Grandma LaVallee's bright smile and peppy cheer, but her legacy lives on in the wonderful traditions still continued in our family today!

You will need

In a large pot combine oil, diced onions and garlic.  Saute on low heat until onions are soft and translucent.  Try no to let them brown. 

I love my microplane gourmet paddle grater from Williams-Sonoma for grating cheese.||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, Parmesan, salt, sugar, parsley flakes and cayenne pepper.  Stir to combine.

Such a pretty red!  I wonder if Home Depot could color-match my sauce...hmmmm...

In a bowl combine ground beef, eggs, garlic, parsley flakes, salt and Parmesan.

run stale bread under water and squeeze to ring out.  This process looks strange, but trust me on this one.  This makes yummy meatballs!  Add the rung out bread to the ground beef mixture.
*French bread or Focaccia bread are really good in meatballs but all I had on had was sandwich bread and it will work fine too;-)

Okay, time to wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and squish some meat together;-)

Form the meat mixture into desired size meatballs.  I like around 1.5-2" but you make whatever blows your hair back.  Place meatballs in skillet with a little olive oil and brown on all sides.
Don't crowd the pan.  Do two patches if necessary. 
 Once the meatballs are browned, place them into the sauce.  They will finish cooking all the way through in the sauce. Cover the sauce pan and simmer on lowest setting for 3 hours (or at least 1 hour if you are in a time pinch).  You can add a little water if the sauce gets too thick.

Cook 1 lbs of your favorite spaghetti pasta.  I like Barilla Plus Angel hair pasta.
Serve sauce and meatballs over hot paste.  Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Here's a photo of Grandma LaVallee in 2004 holding my sweet Elyse shortly after she was born.

Grandma LaVallee's Spaghetti & Meatballs
(feel free to double, triple, etc.. this recipe! This one can really feed a crowd!)
*I like lots of sauce, so I often double the sauce recipe but not the meatballs.

1 Tbls Olive oil or Vegatable oil
1 large onion chopped 
1 clove garlic mined well
1 15oz can Hunts tomato sauce
1 12oz can Hunts tomato paste
1 15oz can water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
+/- 1/4 tsp ground red pepper of cayenne (I use a little less with young children)
Sautee onion and garlic in oil over med/low heat until soft and translucent.  Add the rest of sauce ingredients and stir.  Add meatballs (below) and simmer on low for three hours, stirring occasionally.  

1 lbs. Ground chuck
1 or 2 eggs
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbls fresh grated Parmesan cheese
5 slices stale bread.  (run under water and squeeze out)
Mix, form into desired size meatballs & brown slowly.  Add to sauce.

1 pound cooked spaghetti noodles.
More fresh grated Parmesan for garnish.


1 comment:

  1. Made this Sunday and the whole family enjoyed it! I used 1/8 tsp cayenne and it was just right for the kids. Also subbed whole wheat bread and spaghetti and, because I didn't read directions ahead of time (oops!), it only simmered for 30 min. Still so tasty and a new family fave!