Spaghetti & Meatballs

pasta

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Inactive Time: 1.5 hours (minimum)

Serving Size: 8 – 10

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Special Equipment:

  1. Pasta Maker (I  use the Kitchenaid pasta roller and spaghetti cutter attachment).

Ingredients:

For the Spaghetti Noodles:

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water (ice cubes melted into measuring cup)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (for serving)

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp grater
  • 2 whole eggs 
  • Splash of milk 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

For the Sauce:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced 
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Crushed red pepper, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

Instructions:

For the Spaghetti Noodles:

  1. Combine the semolina flour, all purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, mix these ingredients together, then using a sifter, sift into another bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs & beat well with a fork.
  3. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the eggs and mix with a fork.
  4. Add the cold water to the egg & olive oil mixture, and mix with a fork.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into your mixer bowl and attach the flat beater.
  6. Add half of the sifted flour mixture, turn to speed 2 and mix 20 seconds. Add the rest of the sifted flour mixture and mix an additional 20 seconds.
  7. Exchange flat beater for the dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for 2 to 3 minutes, until a dough ball is formed.
  8. Remove dough from bowl and hand-knead for 2 to 3 minutes. NOTE: Good pasta dough should be elastic and pliable, but FIRM (not soft like bread dough). It should not stick to your fingers or fall apart. To test for the correct consistency, pinch a small amount of dough together after kneading for 2 to 3 minutes — if the dough stays together without sticking to your fingers or falling apart, it should work well. If too soft, add more flour by dusting the top of the dough and knead some more, continuing to dust the dough with flour until achieving the right consistency. If too dry, wet your hands and knead some more, continuing to wet your hands a little at a time & knead until the right consistency. (Achieving the right consistency isn’t hard at all — I got it just right the very first time I tried this recipe).
  9. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour (this step is important).
  10. While dough is in fridge, make meatballs (recipe below).
  11. Remove dough from refrigerator and let it rest for 15 minutes. Using your hands, roll dough into a log, about 12 inches long.
  12. Cut log into 8 slices, then flatten each piece slightly. Spread slices out so they aren’t touching and cover with plastic wrap.
  13. Using the widest setting on the pasta roller (1 on the Kitchenaid), turn mixer to speed 2 and taking one piece of the flattened dough, feed through rollers. Fold dough in half & roll again. Repeat 3 more times, lightly dusting the sheet of pasta in between each rolling if it feels the slightest bit sticky.
  14. Move adjustment knob to setting 2 and feed the dough sheet through the rollers once.
  15. Move adjustment knob to setting 3 and feed the dough sheet through the rollers once.
  16. Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached: 3 for Thick “kluski” type egg noodles; 4 for standard egg noodles; 4 or 5 for lasagna noodles, fettuccine, spaghetti, and ravioli; 6 or 7 for tortellini, thin fettuccine, and linguine fini; 7 or 8 for VERY thin “angel-hair” type pasta/capellini or VERY fine linguine.
  17. Separate sheets once desired thickness is achieved with a thin towel or piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour, so the dough doesn’t dry out too much.
  18. To cut the noodles, exchange the Pasta Roller Sheet attachment for the cutter attachment of choice, either the fettucine cutter for wider noodles or the spaghetti cutter for spaghetti or linguine. Run each sheet through the cutter. NOTE: Each sheet can be cut in half or thirds before putting through the cutter to prevent “too long” of strips. I prefer to use the longer sheets, rather than cutting them in half or thirds, as this reduces the time it takes to cut each sheet & hang to dry.
  19. After cutting each sheet, hang to dry on a pasta rack. Dry for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you don’t have a pasta rack, plastic hangers work great! IMPORTANT: Flour the pasta rack or the plastic hangers before placing pasta on them. ALSO, separate the strips of pasta as best you can, so they aren’t touching. This way they won’t dry sticking together. If you want to dry the pasta for later use, dry for several hours and then store in airtight plastic bags (i.e. Ziploc Freezer or Storage Bags).
  20. When ready to cook, boil your water and add salt. For the 1.5 pounds of pasta, I use 2 teaspoons of salt. Oil in the water is not necessary.
  21. Fresh pasta will cook faster than commercially bought pasta — about 2 to 4 minutes in vigorously boiling water.

For the Meatballs:

  1. Combine the ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ricotta, parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, garlic, eggs, milk and black pepper in a bowl. Mash with your hands until thoroughly combined. Form into small balls (2 inches in diameter) and place in a glass casserole dish. Set in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to cook meatballs, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Cover glass dish with aluminum foil to prevent meatballs from drying out and place glass dish in oven and cook for 25 minutes.

For the Sauce:

  1. Puree whole tomatoes in food processor (do not dump the tomato water/juice from the can into the food processor to preserve sauce thickness).
  2. Drain the meatball fat and juices from the glass dish into a sauce pan and add the garlic and onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree, parsley, tomato paste, sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on to limit splatter cleanup. Check/stir occasionally to prevent ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the meatballs back to the sauce pan and simmer another 15 minutes. Keep warm until serving.
  4. To assemble everything, toss pasta noodles with grated parmesan cheese, then toss with sauce, and top with meatballs.

Pasta recipe credit goes here, meatball and sauce recipe adapted from Ree Drummond.

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