Monday, January 9, 2012

Meatballs with Garlic & Butter Spaghetti

I had to have a go at making meatballs as I happened to catch Ina Garten making them on an episode of Barefoot Contessa.  My experiment with meatballs happened on last Sunday night - my hubby and I had a lovely dinner of meatballs and couscous at home, paired with red wine.  

As you know, on Barefoot Contessa, Ina usually cooks for a 'truckload' of people (I often wish that I was her guest!), so even though I halved the recipe, I had lots of meat leftover that left me having meatballs for lunch for the next two days... (I think I might be going cold turkey from meatballs for some time)

Meatballs and spaghetti, one of the most classic pasta combination, isn't it?  Instead of marinara sauce, I had it with cream sauce.  And to go with the meatballs, some garlic and butter spaghetti.  Yummy... 

Oops.. think I hear the treadmill calling out to me..  

Meatballs with Garlic & Butter Spaghetti
serves 4

(I've typed in the halved quantities of Ina's original recipe.  If you want the full quantity, please click on the link below)

For the Meatballs (adapted from Ina Garten's Real Meatballs & Spaghetti Recipe):
1/4 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
(I used 250g beef & 250g pork.  It worked out fine, but I think the meatballs would have been better with a larger proportion of beef)
1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs (2 slices, crusts removed)
1/8 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I didn't add nutmeg)
1/2 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

For the Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup cream
1 to 1-1/2 cup beef stock
1 tbsp plain flour
salt, pepper

For the Garlic Butter Pasta:
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 servings of pasta
1/4 cup of butter
salt & pepper to taste
grated parmesan to serve

- Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. (I made them smaller which explains why I had a lot of leftover meat)
- Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan
- For the sauce, swirl out the pan with the beef stock.  Stir in the cream.  Thicken with flour and season with salt & pepper.
- Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Meanwhile for the pasta, cook pasta as directed on package. Melt butter in skillet on medium high. Add garlic and saute. Drain pasta; stir pasta into the butter and garlic, season well with salt and pepper.
- Serve the meatballs hot on cooked spaghetti, drizzle the remaining sauce on the meatballs and pasta, and pass the grated Parmesan. (I sprinkled a little dried parsley on the top too)


  1. Wow, your presentation of the dish looks just so clean and appitising! I don't think spaghetti with meatballs ever looked any better.

    And pasta with garlic and butter is always a win in my book. Maybe with the addition of meatballs and cream sauce, some capers would fit in nicely? :)


  2. Lovely dish! I love the cream sauce. I will have to make a good broth to use in this cream sauce recipe. I love pasta dishes...Spaghetti is comfort food! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Hi Tobias, thanks!
    There was some cream sauce! Just that I reduced the sauce a little too much, so there was only some left for the meatballs only, and not for the pasta!

    Thanks for your lovely comments, MyFudo.. Your comments always make me smile :)

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