Sometimes we just are in the mood for some good, old fashioned comfort food. Spaghetti and meatballs is an old classic that we all love, and handmade meatballs, from fresh meat straight from the farm is always the best. We got the meat from our brother-in-law’s farm in Kansas. Fresh meat sure does make a difference. We had a traditional spaghetti dish complete with garlic cheese bread and a bold Cab Franc to finish off the meal. My garlic cheese bread is a recipe I “permanently borrowed” from an Italian restaurant that was a tradition in Pasadena, California, where I grew up. I have made it ever since. I have to admit that I did not make my sauce from scratch, but I certainly enhanced it with extra garlic and herbs, although I absolutely do know how to make my own sauce. I just did not this time around.
The meatballs before cooking, made from fresh ground beef, garlic, onions, basil, oregano, salt & pepper, bread crumbs and eggs. Mix them all together and then rolls them into balls.
Cook the meatballs separately in a large skillet with a little cooking oil. This is one time I do not use olive oil, since it has a much lower smoke point than canola oil and will burn much faster. Cook until the meatballs are browned on all sides, then remove from the pan. Drain the rest of the oil.
Saute garlic and mushrooms (if using) then add your sauce and chopped tomatoes. I also added extra basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme and salt & pepper, as well as my jar of tomato sauce. Yes, I do know how to make it from scratch, but why, when there are so many good brands already out there. Bring to a boil, then reduce down to a simmer, and cook for at least about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add your meatballs and mix them in thoroughly.
The cheese bread. Mix together softened butter with garlic and herbs and spread on your choice of bread. I used a rustic pugliese. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and then with shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with a little bit of paprika and bake until bubbly at 350* for about 15 or so minutes. If you have any leftover butter, just add it to your sauce and incorporate it in.
Buon Apetito! Old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs.