Finals Week Food for Thought – Spaghetti and Meatballs

By Chef Egg

chef-egg-spaghetti-12-16

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Neon Entertainment’s chef, Chef Egg teaches you how to create the ultimate meal for finals week, spaghetti and meatballs. Today we are going to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs. I am going to teach you how to cook your pasta perfectly so it soaks up flavor from the cooking water and the sauce. I am also going to show you how to make meatballs that will stay moist and burst with flavor. You can use homemade sauce or your favorite jarred marinara. I would say that this is something you do not want to skimp out on. A good sauce will make or break this dish.

Now let’s get cracking!

Chef Egg

Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 Egg
1/4 C Milk
1/3 C Bread Crumbs
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, shredded
2 tsp. Dried Italian Herbs
1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
1 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Mild Italian Sausage – 2 links
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 qt. Marinara Sauce – homemade or from a jar
1 lb. Dry Spaghetti
1 tbsp. Salt

1. Place the first 6 ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well. Let this sit for 15 minutes. This mixture is going to season the meatballs and keep them light and moist while you simmer them.

2. Place the beef into the bowl, and then squeeze the sausage out of it’s casing and into the bowl. Mix everything together until just incorporated. The beef adds beefy flavor and the sausage is going to give you pork flavor and add extra Italian seasoning to the meatballs. Do not over mix this mixture or you will have heavy meatballs.

3. Take a 1/3 cup scoops of the meat mixture, lightly roll into even balls and then place on a plate. The scoop size is up to you, but I like my meatballs to be manageable size while I brown them.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it smokes, gently place the meatballs into the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes and then turn the meatballs over and repeat. Browning the meatballs is very important and is a big step in adding huge layer of beefy flavor to the recipe. You are just browning the beef and it will not be cooked through.

5. Place the meatballs into a medium saucepan, add the marinara and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. This will cook the meat balls though and incorporate the flavor of the meat ball to the sauce and vice versa.

6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Add the pasta, stir well and cook for 9-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and save 1 cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta. The boiling, salted water will cook your pasta to exact doneness and season it well enough for your to actually taste the pasta goodness. The starchy pasta water will help thicken the sauce in the next step as well as the hot pasta.

7. Place the hot pasta water and 1.5 cups of the simmering marinara sauce back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta to the light sauce and toss well, cook until the pasta soaks in the sauce. Finishing the pasta in the sauce helps to soak in further flavor.

8. Place the pasta into a bowl and top with meatballs and extra sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper.

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