Weeknight Spaghetti & Meatballs

Weeknight Spaghetti and Meatballs, Photo Credit: Pippa Biddle

Weeknight Spaghetti and Meatballs, Photo Credit: Pippa Biddle

My favorite part of the week is when I can get together with friends and cook dinner. I am not a dining hall girl whatsoever. I can count the number of times I’ve been into the Columbia and Barnard dining halls on one hand. So, most nights I make dinner for myself, bunker down at my desk, and watch the type of television shows that would make my mom cringe – there are Kardashians involved. The food is good but the entertainment is mindless, I want company! Luckily, it doesn’t take much begging to get my friends to let me invade their kitchens and cook up a weeknight, midterm recovery, no-whining-here, feast. This week was spaghetti and meatballs with buttery garlic bread. If Congress says ketchup is a vegetable, tomato sauce counts too right?

Weeknight Spaghetti & Meatballs (Serves 5-6)

  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • olive oil
  • 2-2.25 lbs ground beef
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garlic, grated finely
  • 2 cloves whole garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
  • 2 tbsp + 1/3 cup onion, chopped finely
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggian0, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine bread crumbs, milk, and egg in a small bowl, whisk to combine.
  3. Mix beef, grated garlic, 2 tbsp onion, 3 tbsp parsley, and 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano in a large bowl until combined. Add the the milk mixture, salt, pepper, and stir till incorporated. This can be done in a standing mixer with a paddle. 
  4. Form loose balls about the size of a golf ball and place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
  5. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan at least 3″ deep and 9″ in diameter.
  6. Brown the meatballs on all sides and return to baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. When all meatballs are removed from the saucepan, add the remaining garlic and onions. Sauté lightly before pouring in the crushed tomatoes. Stir in tomato paste, parsley, and season to taste. Simmer to reduce.
  8. While meatballs are in the oven cook the pasta. When the meatballs are done place them into the sauce, turn to coat, and serve on top of pasta with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.
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