Spaghetti and meatballs

I haven’t been cooking very much because I was sick through much of last week. I was well enough to go back to work last Monday but wasn’t fully well until this past weekend, and ended up doing a lot of leftovers and quick and easy things in the interim. Plus a few diner meals, though I prefer to think of that as helping to prop up the local restaurant economy. Tonight was the first new and mildly photogenic thing I’ve tried in a while: fairly easy spaghetti and meatballs.

So I started by chopping up some mushrooms, onions and parsley.

Apparently when your camera battery is close to dying it slows the exposure, so that you look like you’re chopping garlic at warp speed.

The meatballs are an adaptation of a recipe I found on Half Assed Kitchen: a pound of ground meat (I used ground bison–lean and very tasty), half a cup of bread crumbs, three-quarters of a cup of chopped parsley, and an egg, mixed together and shaped into meatballs. Again, at warp speed. (Well, hardly. This was the slowest part for me because I hadn’t chopped the parsley as finely as I should have, and I had to work a bit to make sure the bigger bits were well pressed into the meat.)

Brown them on all sides. (OK, you know what I said about pressing the parsley well enough into the meat? Forget about that–clearly my meatballs were extra leafy.)

While they brown, heat some olive oil in a dutch oven and sautee onions, mushrooms, garlic and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper, then add some dried basil, oregano and thyme.

Add a large can of crushed tomatoes and a large can of whole tomatoes, plus their juices. I like to cut the whole tomatoes into halves or quarters (depending on their size). Add a splash of red wine, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Add the meatballs and simmer partially covered for at least 20 minutes, so that the flavors are blended and the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve over spaghetti or chunky pasta. Good stuff.

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