Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back to Cooking, Back to Blogging

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
My fun, hectic ride as a harvest intern came to an end today. Three months went by quickly and while I am saddened that I will not be working with Erin, Josh, Phil, and David any longer, I am glad that I will have some time to catch up on some cooking.

Last week received a call while cleaning crushpad equipment to come back to the office - "the meat had arrived." The rumblings were true - a whole cow was purchased and I was to go home with an intern's share of meat - a few pounds of ground beef and a few pounds of stew meat.

This first dish to come of the cow caché is Spaghetti and Meatballs - a quick, tasty dish that allows the flavor of the beef to shine - though in my version it is tempered with a turkey to give it a lighter touch. Also, these meatballs are baked, again for lightness.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
adapted from Baked Meatballs on The Crepes of Wrath.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground turkey
1.5 eggs, beaten (or 3/4 of two eggs beaten. If you can find a half egg, all the more power to you.)
2 tsp dried parsley
1.5 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp salt
1 c panko breadcrumbs, divided
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Parmesan cheese, if you like

3/4 lb. spaghetti
Pasta sauce of your choosing (homemade or a nice jar of sauce)

Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or grease the sheet with some cooking spray. Put a pot of water on to boil.

Combine the ground beef and ground turkey, egg, 2/3 of bread crumbs, herbs, and spices in a mixing bowl. Blend together with hands, until everything is together, but not so much that things start to heat up and the meat gets overworked.

When the oven is ready, make golf balls out of the meat mixture - or whatever size you want. Roll in the remainder of the breadcrumbs and place them on the sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

In the mean time, once the water comes to a boil, salt the water and add the spaghetti. Cook until it suits your palate - I like al dente (just a bit of bite in the middle of the noodle). If your sauce is cold, heat it up in a saucepan. If it is room temperature, it can just be added to the drained pasta.

Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce. Place a few meatballs on top. If you like cheese, add some fresh grated Parmesan.

I made 15 large meatballs out of this recipe, so there are left overs, which can only mean one thing - meatball sandwiches!

Hopefully I will have more time now to get back to cooking and posting.