Monday, January 25, 2010

Gettin Sauced; Part 2 - Good Ole Spaghettini and Meatballs

After spending a good 7-8 hours making sauce, I like to end the evening with a fairly quick fix for dinner. This involves the now finished sauce and some Italian Sausage meatballs. As seen in the teaser pic on the Tomato sauce post... ;)

Yep, a total cheat recipe as far as the meatballs go. I learned this little trick from Jamie Oliver when he was on Late Night with David Letterman. While David was drinking the Heavy Cream, Jamie was squeezing the sausage out of the casings to make perfect little meatballs. Pretty awesome! Then David started drinking the Olive oil too and I had to change the channel...

Anyway, the point of this post is not so much about David Letterman's oddities, cause I could be here all night typing... ;) But that I have adopted his method as a quick way to make meatballs. Whether as an addition to my favorite pasta dish, which is Linguine alla Carbonara, or a simple dish such as this one. It is pure genius and I love it.

I used "Sweet" Sausage this time, but you can just as easily use the Hot Italian Sausage if you are not a fan of Fennel.

Spaghettini and Sweet Meatballs

1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
2 TB Olive Oil (don't drink it please)
1 cup Sangiovese (You can try a Barbera or Nebbiolo too)
2 1/2 -3 cups Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce (depending on how you divided it up)
12 oz Spaghettini or Spaghetti
Basil to taste; either Chopped or more properly, Chiffonade
Parmegiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano for serving.

If your sauce has already been frozen, you will need to thaw it out in some warm water. Bring it as close to room temperature as your can.

Grab a bottle of 2007 Sangiovese, this particular one is a Brunello clone that I picked up from Witch Creek Winery in Julian CA, before I moved back to Oregon... A delicious wine, I just wish I had another bottle...

Begin by pinching the sausage to move the filling out one side...

to form a mini meatball.

You should get about 5 mini meatballs per sausage.

Once you have finished, begin heating the olive oil in a large skillet (I used an electric skillet this time)

Sear the meatballs until browned on all sides, meanwhile begin heating a large pot of water for the Pasta.

Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with the Sangiovese, scraping any fond that has accumulated on the bottom of the pan, and reduce the wine to about 1/2 cup.

Add the Tomato Sauce and stir to combine.

When the sauce is homogeneous, add the meatballs back in and reduce the heat to a slow simmer.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water, don't forget to salt the water before adding the pasta.

Continue simmering the meatballs until the pasta is al dente, which for Spaghettini is only about 6-7 minutes, then add the spaghettini to the skillet....

and toss the sauce, spaghettini and meatballs to coat everything nicely. (I see people out there cringing, but I always toss my sauce with my pasta, I don't serve it separately; You can serve it separately if you like) LOL

Serve with Chopped basil and Grated Parmegiano-Reggiano.

Super quick, Super easy and Super delicious...



matt74 said...

I saw tyler florence use the same technique..but with orecchiette and clams...I wish I had a plate now

Patti T. said...

Looks fantastic. I would never have thought to do that with the sausage, what a great and easy idea.

Cookiebaker said... you've done it. Today was going to be my day of drinking nothing but protein shakes. Now, after reading about your slow cooked tomato sauce and this post, I'm craving spaghetti and meatballs....and I have none of the ingredients in the house.

Bob said...

That, is an awesome trick for making meatballs. I'm definitely doing it. The whole thing looks wicked good, I always toss my pasta with the sauce in the pan. I like it so much better that way.

Melissa said...

Yum! Looks great! And that is an awesome tip for the meat balls! I will DEFINITELY be trying that out in the near future. :-)

smilinggreenmom said...

OMGosh! OMGosh! I have to make this!!! I am going next to find your red sauce recipe. I love pasta so much and my hubs gets a little tired and bored of the same old sauce. I have been wanting some variation and with the sausage - holy cow! I am going to even use Kamut Khorasan Wheat pasta for my noodles - woo hoo :) Thanks so much!!

Danielle said...

oh man...I really need to stop doing this when im hungry!!! totally YUM!!!