Something really strange(almost spooky) happened. I cooked Spaghetti with meat balls and the weather turned from a clear sunny day to a cloudy one. It is starting to rain as I write this post. Looks like the weather God either read my mind or peeped into my kitchen. The boys are thrilled with the title of the post and it does seem apt given the turn of events, I mean the change of weather. Rains at this time of the year also means that Winter would stretch for at least another week or two. So more soups, stews in the weeks to follow.
I have been meaning to cook the 'Spaghetti meatballs' combo for a while now. The name has an exotic ring to it. In hindsight the dish is surprisingly simple. Most things in hindsight look simple, don't they?
I am not good with making cutlets, chops, tikkis and the likes. Have a mental block, I fear that they will come apart as I am frying them. Must be to do with some initial disastrous attempts though I cannot recall any such incident at the moment. Not being able to make them is such a shame given that my Mom made Fish and prawn cutlets quite regularly during my growing up years. When we had guests over she even dressed up each prawn cutlets with its little tail which helped enhance the visual appeal and made the cutlets look really appetizing. It is of course obvious that they tasted really good. Oohs! Aahs! and they would be over in a jiffy. Someday soon I hope I can achieve a similar feat. Till then I shall rely on my household help or just buy them off the shelf.
I bought some meatballs while picking up my weekly non-veg from a store close to home. And the first dish that I could think of was spaghetti with meat balls. My first attempt at making this dish and a recipe that I have intuitively put together. I have deliberately skipped the cheese.
Spaghetti with Meat Balls(Serves 4)
Tomato Puree: 1 cup(Add one or two fresh blanched and pureed tomatoes to packaged puree. Makes it convenient and gives the sauce the right color, body and taste)
Meat balls: 10/15( I used store bought ones but you could go through the process of spicing up chicken mince, making them into little balls and then deep frying them)
Oregano seasoning: 2 tsp
Green Coriander: 2/3 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium sized one, finely chopped
Vegetable stock: 2/3 tbsp(I used some leftover vegetable stew)
Garlic: 4/5 large pods, finely chopped
Olive oil: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1/2 tsp( to balance out the sour tomato taste)
Spaghetti: 100 grams
For the Spaghetti
Boil about 100 grams of spaghetti in plenty of water. Add some olive oil and salt to the water. Olive oil would prevent the spaghetti from sticking.
Strain and keep aside. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the spaghetti and toss it well, that way it would not dry up.
Ideally boil the spaghetti when you start to simmer the meatballs in the sauce.
For the meatballs
Put a flat bottomed pan on the stove. Heat some olive oil in it.
Then saute the garlic followed by the onion.
Add the tomato puree, sugar, oregano seasoning, chopped coriander and cook for a few minutes. The puree will begin to thicken.
Add the vegetable stock. This would give the sauce a lovely texture and also add to the taste. As I was using some leftover vegetable stew I also mashed up a few boiled carrots into the sauce.
Next add the meat balls to the gravy. Cover and cook so that the meatball soak some of the gravy.
Putting it all together, Plating it as my older son would say
Place some spaghetti on the plate, shape it like a bird's nest. Pour the meat balls with the gravy into the hollow in the middle. Garnish with some fresh coriander and serve hot. Approximately three meat balls per serve.
Cut the meatballs into little pieces. Twirl the spaghetti around your fork, lift a little piece of the meat ball, pop into your mouth and feel the fusion of flavors/taste as you bite into them together.
Surprisingly easy if you are not starting from scratch. Ready puree and meatballs make it a quick fix. Perfect on a cold, wet, winter night.
Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!