...Spaghetti and Meatballs All'Amatriciana...


What's this All'Amatriciana business?  I thought I was just making Spaghetti and Meatballs.  What I really wanted to do was replicate the delicious spaghetti and meatballs I had at Endeavor Farm a few months back. Those hit the spot, big time.  When I asked for the recipe of course there wasn't one.  Bev is the best home cook I know and although she shared with me how she made hers, I'm pretty sure I couldn't replicate it exactly.



And so, I turn to a recipe in Bon Appetit that claims to be an "everyday meal."  Well, everyday I wouldn't consume this much bacon, though I'm glad I tried it out.  They are pretty smoky and definitely get better with time so if you're making these for a crowd feel free to do so a couple days in advance.




Recipe thanks to and loosely modified by Bon Appetit.  Makes 8 servings (or more)




Ingredients You'll Need:


Meatballs

  • 6 ounces applewood-smoked bacon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2/3 cup chopped, drained roasted red peppers
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Sauce
  • 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice (I'm buying San Marzano next time)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or other Italian seasonings you have)
Pasta:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
  • freshly grated Parmesan
For the Meatballs:
1. Place the bacon in a processor.  Grind into a paste then transfer to a bowl.  Use a garlic press or mince garlic and add to the bowl.  Mix in the beef and remaining ingredients.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap (hello easy cleanup.) Roll meatballs out to 1 1/2 inch meatballs.  The meatballs can be made a day ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and chilled.

For the Sauce:
1. Puree tomatoes with juice and garlic in batches in a blender until smooth.  

2.  Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, transfer bacon to plate.

3.  Add 1 tablespoon oil (if you dare) to drippings and heat over medium heat.  Add some meatballs cooking on all sides until browned, about 9 minutes.  Turn carefully so they don't come apart.  Add more oil if needed to cook up remaining meatballs.

4.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the onions and crushed red pepper.  Saute until golden, 6 minutes, then add wine and bring to a boil.  Let everything reduce by half, stirring up brown bits from the bottom.  Add tomato puree and garlic.  Boil until sauce thickens, stirring every now and again for 8 minutes or so.  Season with salt and pepper to taste- remember you're about to add salty bacon.  Add the bacon in then add in the meatballs.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered.  Taste again and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Pasta:
1. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. When it's done drain and add oil and herbs.

Serve it up and enjoy!  It's got the smoky bacon flavor and kick from the crushed red pepper.  A must try if these flavors are up your alley, and well- if you like bacon!


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