(This recipe contains dairy that can easily be omitted. The meat however, cannot. I’m joking, but you should totally make these meatballs.)
Last night I was standing in front of my pantry trying to decide how much energy I had to make dinner. Do I make something involved or do I try to expend as little energy as possible (this usually involves grilling veggies in butter and garlic and adding meat of some kind)? Spaghetti is always easy, but I didn’t have spaghetti sauce, and Mr. H. prefers meatballs with his spaghetti so there was a bit more work than I wanted to do in that dish. It was 5:30pm. The husband arrives home from work at 6:00pm. But yesterday was Friday, and why not celebrate? Spaghetti it is.
There were a few things I needed to get started, but once they were going it was just a matter of waiting. First, I just used what I had on hand, so this may not be the most conventional recipe, but oh heavens it was delightful.
I had some Udi’s gluten-free bread in the fridge so I pulled out three pieces and ground them finely in my vitamix, spread them on a baking sheet, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.
I had a couple of cans of tomatoes in liquid so I gave those a quick spin in the food processor and poured them in a pan to simmer on low with garlic and spices.
Once the sauce was simmering I could make the meatballs. A really good meatball has an egg, breadcrumbs, and spices for days. A little parmesan never hurt either.
If you have cast iron, use it. It imparts wonderful flavor, and of course iron, into your foods.
For the noodles we usually use quinoa noodles, but I didn’t have that so I used non-gmo corn noodles. In the past I haven’t been as pleased with the corn noodles, but last night they were perfection, and I’m sure it is because I really monitored them to ensure they were al dente. After I drain and rinse noodles I always add them back into the pot on low with about 1/4c grass-fed butter. This is a necessary step, but of course I, the butter queen, would say that.
Brown the meatballs on all sides, add in the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes or so. (I always pull out a meatball and cut it open to make sure I’m not overdoing it, and of course to ensure that it is done.)
Serve with or without freshly grated parmesan. We had Parmesano Romano from Trader Joes.
Spaghetti And Meatballs
For the sauce:
1 24oz can of organic tomatoes in sauce
1 12oz can of organic tomatoes in sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4c parmesan cheese
1/4tsp fennel seeds
1tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
Place all ingredients into a large pan and simmer for the entire time you make the other steps of the meal.
For the meatballs:
3 pieces gluten-free bread, ground and lightly toasted
1lb grass-fed ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1tsp 21 season salute, optional (from trader joes)
parmesan if desired
Mix all ingredients with your hands and form into desired meatball size. Get a cast iron skillet nice and hot (I let mine sit at 6 for 5 minutes or so) and brown meatballs on all sides. This goes fast so make sure to watch carefully here. Once they are nicely browned, lower heat to 4(ish) and pour sauce over meatballs. Let simmer here while you prepare the noodles.
For the Noodles:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add your gluten-free spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Drain, rinse, and add back to pot on low with 1/4c butter and thoroughly coat.
Serve immediately, garnished with freshly grated parmesan, or the parmesan we used, or don’t use cheese at all. You can substitute a good oil to coat the noodles too, like a little olive oil since you won’t be heating it very high, or maybe sunflower oil. Never use canola, ever, ever, ever.
This meal took me under one hour from the decision to make it to sitting at the table. And you have to take into account frequent breaks to chase a very mobile baby around. Make this. So good.
Next, I have found a gluten-free, grain-free, xanthan-free, and vegan bread recipe that is ACTUALLY LIKE BREAD. Holy holy hold on to your panties.