Let’s talk a little bit about simplicity, shall we?
So we’re already getting along into January and I’m guessing those New Year’s resolutions are starting to get real, am I right? This year I did myself a favor and didn’t set any fixed “resolutions” but rather self-intentions that were not written or mentioned to anyone else.
I don’t know, I just felt like this was a year to leave my options open and focus on letting my priorities settle themselves as they should. If that sounds like a bit of a Jack Sparrow way of doing things, it’s because it is. But you know what? I’m learning that life is a whole lot more fun and rewarding if you remember not to take things too seriously and just live.
Does that mean I have no goals or plans? Of course not, but trying to control things too much and setting unreachable goals is just a recipe for failure and disappointment in my book. Speaking of recipes, it’s been too long since the last pasta recipe I shared.
Haha, I keep wanting to call this spaghetti even though there is no actual spaghetti shaped pasta involved. But really, isn’t it a bit confusing how classic pasta sauce recipes seem to have a matched shape of pasta and they just go together. I mean, aren’t pastas basically the same exact thing in different shapes? So what’s the deal because, I mean, you’d never be like “I’m going to make some macaroni alfredo” or “fettuccine and meatballs”!
I’ll be completely straight with you guys here, I mix and match pastas shapes with my sauces and show very little regard to what everyone else does, but I do still find it hard not to call this. I think that just reinforces my point about confusion though.
Anyway, this pasta is nothing too fancy or complicated, and as I said, I’m finding it difficult not to call it spaghetti when it’s actually a red sauce with meatballs and spiral pasta. I’m not even completely sure the name of this exact shape because it’s not fusilli, but any shape will do.
I love it because it’s a comfort food style dinner that comes together quickly and these meatballs are a major winner. The secret to making them tender is using crumbled bread, not dry breadcrumbs but actual bread (bread heels work perfectly!). It makes all the difference. Using fresh basil is another game-changer so definitely try to use that rather than dried.
I hope you enjoy this one!
Wanna know the secret to my favorite and most tender meatballs? This pasta recipe makes dinner super easy and it's a classic everyone will enjoy.
- 1 pound any shape pasta, cooked according to package
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef (I use 80%)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (about 4 slices) sandwich bread, crumbled *see note
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (32 ounce) jar marinera sauce
- 1/4 packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Roll into 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoon sized balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place each one in a large skillet or dutch oven with a lid.
- Add the olive oil and cook over medium heat and cook, turning every so often until done on all sides and inside, 5 - 6 minutes.
- Add the ingredients for the sauce and reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan with lid and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for about 15 minutes.
- Serve the sauce and meatballs over your cooked pasta and top with additional parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired.
*This is a great way to make use of extra bread heels! 🙂