At least once a month I find myself making a giant pot of spaghetti with meat sauce or meatballs (if I’m feeling up to the extra work). This is an absolute favourite in our house and we eat it at least once a week. So once a month I make a giant batch that will last us all month from the freezer. Dust off your large stockpots for this recipe. It doesn’t take much time to quadruple a regular recipe and then you have dinner ready in the freezer for three or four more meals.
It was my sons birthday recently, so I made meatballs which are his favourite. I can’t believe that this monkey is 1 already, boy does time fly by. My little guy has a dairy allergy, so I had to come up with a new way to soak the breadcrumbs. Usually I would soak the breadcrumbs in milk, which is the traditional way to keep your meatballs moist. I scoured the web for ideas and I couldn’t find one recipe that didn’t just remove that step. I contemplated trying almond milk and that just sounded weird so instead I soaked them in onion juice! What! Onion juice. If you puree an onion long enough, the onions will turn into a thick liquid, which just happens to be perfect for soaking your breadcrumbs. Aha!
Eureka, these were some of the best meatballs I have ever made. Make sure you toss in some of Sally’s delicious eggs from Barnyard Organics to help hold these meatballs together.
Meatballs in Marinara sauce with Spaghetti
For the Meatballs:
2 lbs of local ground beef
2 lbs of local ground pork
3 large onions
6 garlic cloves
2 cups of dried breadcrumbs
a large handful of chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
For the Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons of avocado oil (or your favourite oil)
1 large onion, diced small
2 large carrots, shredded
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large can (Costco Size) of whole tomatoes (oz?)
1 (oz?) can of tomato paste
1 (oz?) jar of tomato puree
2-4 tablespoons of your favourite Italian Spice mix
For the meatballs: Preheat your oven to 400F.
You will need a food processor for this step. Puree your onions until they turn into a thick liquid. This take a couple of minutes and a little bit of patience. Pour your onion puree into a large bowl and mix in the eggs. Slowly add your breadcrumbs and stir until they are wet. Let this mixture sit for at least 10-15 mins.
While you are waiting, either mince your garlic cloves or pulse them in your food processor until minced.
Toss in the remaining ingredients into your onion, egg, breadcrumb mixture. Gently with your hands, mix the meatballs together. You do not want to over-mix these or you will end up with tough meatballs. Just mix gently until all of the ingredients are combined.
Shape your meatballs into your desired size. We seem to prefer golf ball size, not too big (which fall apart easily) and not too small (you will be here for days shaping 4 lbs of meat).
For easy cleanup, line two large baking trays with tin foil. Arrange your meatballs on the cookie sheets, making sure they are not touching.
Bake for 25 mins, until they are lightly golden brown. These are probably not completely cooked, depending on your oven. I like to finish them off in the sauce, but if you prefer, continue to cook your meatballs for about 10 more mins until they register 165F with an instant read thermometer.
While the meatballs bake, prepare your sauce.
For the Sauce:
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in your onions and cook until translucent, about 5 mins. Add the garlic and carrots and continue to cook for another 5 mins until softened.
Toss in your tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato puree. Season and stir. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until the meatballs are ready.
When the meatballs are ready, gently place them in the sauce. Be careful when stirring, you do not want to break apart your little works of art. Allow the meatballs and sauce to simmer together for at least 15 mins. You can simmer this longer to allow the flavours to deepen.
You can freeze leftover sauce for 2 months in airtight containers or ziplock bags.