Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meatballs? Don't spaghettaboutem.

A continuation from an earlier piece on meatballs. Meatballs in and of themselves are great, but sometimes you need something else to go with it. Actually unless you're in the mood for a a big morsel of delicious meat on its own (which can be pretty fantastic), meatballs usually are an element of something else; sliced on pizza, placed in an Italian roll, or maybe in a crock pot for a potluck. Today we'll stick with the classic pasta and Meatballs.

Forgive me if you've seen me do this before as its a standby in my repertoire.

One large can of organic tomatoes is popped open. The root beer bottle is there for scale. Or because I wasn't thinking.
I attempted to use the KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment at first, which wasn't very successful. I realize now I forgot one the cutting piece inside, which is probably why the tomato skins bunched up towards the front preventing much progress to be made.

Forcing the issue didn't help as the tomatoes became quite cross with me.

I went back to my usual plan with the Vitamix. A quick pulse is all one needs to turn whole tomatoes into a more saucy puree. 

See? That was instant.
The usual additions: Garlic chopped well.

Cooked on medium low heat. As a side note I'd get your pasta pot ready. Not ready to start the boiling  yet, but doesn't hurt to be ready.

Since they were handy I added some diced yellow bell pepper as well, which added a nice sweetness and texture to the sauce.

A ladle of tomato juice from the can stops the cooking once the garlic has reached the desired doneness.
Follow up with the puree.

And your seasonings. I find Italian seasoning the most familiar and versatile, but you could be more specialized and pick your own ratio of oregano, thyme, savory, basil and so forth. Don't forget the pepper, and you'll be regretting it if you forget the salt. Now might also be a good time to start the pasta pot.

Here are some reserved meatballs from earlier.

Which is tossed into the sauce to finish cooking. 

I let it go for at least 20 minutes which is more than enough time to boil your pasta and drain it.
And there you have it. Not the best picture but hey.

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