Friends! I hope today finds you happy as a clam! In my imagination, I see us relaxing on the beach, the sound of the ocean waving in the background, a nice cool breeze in the air. California Dreamin’, right!
As for me, I’ll be whipping up a comforting, invitingly Italian take on Spaghetti & Meatballs – camping style! On one of the small, hot grills beachside! Then again, it’s hot outside, so maybe I’ll just make this indoors!
Don’t you just love a rustic meal, assembled in as few pans as possible, until the dish comes together brilliantly enough to be served family style in the skillet it was prepared in. Stovetop to tabletop to tummy!
- 1 large store bought pork Italian meatball
- 1 large store bought beef Italian meatball
- 1¼ cup crushed tomatoes, plus more for serving*
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
- 1/4 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 large carrot, peeled, diced
- 1 celery stick, ends trimmed, diced
- 4 slices of pepperoni, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Fresh chives, for garnish
- Freshly grated Parmiggiano, for garnish
- 2 bundles (or 1/4 cup) spaghetti, cooked to al dente.
- Bring a pot of water to boil over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle in some olive oil and brown the meatballs for 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter and the remaining olive oil. Stir in the pepperoni, carrot, celery, garlic and onion cooking over medium heat until softened. Season to taste. Stir in the tomato paste and Italian seasoning.
- Fold in the crushed tomatoes. Halve the meatballs and add them to the sauce to finish cooking. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thick, reduced by half and deep red in color. Reduce the heat to low and finish cooking the pasta.
- Drizzle some olive oil in the pasta water and add a pinch of salt. Gently fold in two bundles of spaghetti and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Using tongs or a pasta spoon, transfer the cooked pasta in batches to the sauce. Stir in 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water and stir until the pasta is coated with the sauce.
- Serve immediately with some fresh chives, fresh crushed tomatoes and freshly grated Parmiggiano for a truly rustic dish!
- *I buy jarred, rather than canned, crushed tomatoes. This allows me to reseal and save any leftovers for a later use.
- Recipe doubles brilliantly!