Spaghetti and Meatballs All'Amatriciana

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nick had his eye on a past issue of Bon Appetit magazine, when my dad planned to come over last night to help me finish my homemade drapery panels (see yesterday's post here).  He made two trips to the store to get what he needed, and the most incredible aromas wafted upstairs into our bedroom while my dad and I furiously ironed and steamed the stubborn wrinkles out of my Home Depot drop cloths...

Meanwhile the banging of pots, hiss of steam and insanely yummy scents of what awaited us quickened our resolve to finish my latest project.

These spicy, rich, decadent meatballs may be the best I've ever had.  No joke.

Spaghetti and Meatballs All'Amatriciana

Here's what he used for the Meatballs:
6 ounces uncured applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices), diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground beef (15% fat)
2/3 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice (preferably San Marzano)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 ounces uncured applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices), cut crosswise into thin strips
1 tablespoon (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups finely chopped onions
1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram

1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Here's what he did:

Pulsed bacon in a blender/processor, and ground it into a coarse paste. Transfered to large bowl. Mixed beef and with remaining meatball ingredients and let rest for a few minutes.

Using moistened hands  roll meat mixture into 2-inch meatballs, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to cook.

Meanwhile, puree tomatoes with juice and garlic for sauce in batches in blender until smooth. Cook bacon in large (nonstick, if available) pot over medium heat until crisp; transfer bacon to plate.  Add 1 tbsp of oil to drippings in pot and heat over medium heat. Add half of meatballs. Cook until brown on all sides, turning carefully with small metal spatula, about 9 minutes.  Transfer meatballs to baking sheet. Add more oil to pot if needed and repeat with remaining meatballs.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add onions and crushed red pepper to pot. Sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, stirring up browned bits, about 8 minutes. Add tomato puree and marjoram. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix bacon into sauce. Add meatballs; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until meatballs are heated through and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Finally, cook spaghetti in pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and marjoram. Divide spaghetti among bowls. Top with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and serve, passing additional cheese separately.

This one was outstanding!


Upupaepops said...

how could it not be

bacon is mentioned


CFO said...

Yes, I agree 100%. As do all the folks who were lucky enough to try these as leftovers.

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