This recipe stems from my low-carbing days. I first cooked this right after I discovered the wonder named Dreamfields Pasta. That stuff is God’s gift to low-carbers. After I started high-carbing again, I kinda forgot all about the recipe. And that’s a shame, so I reinstated it and thought I’d share it here as well. It’s a simple and basic recipe, and chances are you have everything you need for this in your fridge and/or pantry anyway. Cupboard cooking, as I like to call it.
The sauce is rich and yummy but not too greasy or fattening, the meatballs are flavorful and savory and the hint of sour cream in the sauce elevates this regular spaghetti and meatballs dish to something so much more. Besides the fact this is pure comfort food, it’s also a really well-balanced meal. At least I like to think it is. Don’t burst my bubble, okay. Pretty please?
1 pound ground beef
7 tbsp parmesan
1 tbsp coarse mustard
1 tbsp ketchup (Heinz reduced sugar)
1 medium egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
small can tomato paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 red bell pepper
1 large onion
butter or oil
1 tsp salt
I got so caught up in the recipe, being on the phone off and on and looking after my munchkin, I forgot to take a few shots of the minced onion, bell pepper and grated garlic. No biggie, right? You know how to chop them. Do that first!
Add an egg, 1 1/2 tsp salt (use less if your parmesan is really salty), pepper, coarse mustard and ketchup to 1 pound ground beef.
Top with the parmesan. Don’t use the expensive stuff for this, just grab the Kraft type of parmesan.
Mix it all up and form into small balls with your hands.
Heat butter or oil (I usually combine the two) and brown the meatballs. Then remove them from the pan.
There they are. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan and cook over low heat for about 4 minutes.
Add a small can of tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a minute to sweeten the paste.
White balance heaven. Not! Add the two cans diced tomatoes, 1/3 can of water (use one of the empty tomato cans for it), a good pinch of black pepper, a tsp salt (you can add more later), 1 tbsp dried basil and 1 tbsp dried parsley. Or use oregano or sage if that’s what you prefer.
Add the meatballs to the sauce. I really curse the yellowish light over my stove.
Oops, almost forgot to add 2 tsp brown sugar. Use more if you like but I wouldn’t take it past 1 tbsp.
Pop the lid on and simmer the sauce, over low heat, for 20 minutes. Take the lid off and simmer the sauce for another 20 minutes giving it a chance to cook down a little. Check the seasoning.
Boil the pasta in salted water to the directions on your package.
The finishing touch: stir in two tbsp sour cream. Mascarpone works, too! Really, no need to pour in 1 cup of heavy cream, two tbsp is all it needs to get creamy and delicious.