May 5, 2010

Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs

Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs

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?  

Ingredients:  

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
pepper
salt  

Directions:  

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.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

Top with the parmesan. Don’t use the expensive stuff for this, just grab the Kraft type of parmesan.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

Mix it all up and form into small balls with your hands.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

Heat butter or oil (I usually combine the two) and brown the meatballs. Then remove them from the pan.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

There they are. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan and cook over low heat for about 4 minutes.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

Add a small can of tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a minute to sweeten the paste.  
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

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.  
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

Add the meatballs to the sauce. I really curse the yellowish light over my stove.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

Oops, almost forgot to add 2 tsp brown sugar. Use more if you like but I wouldn’t take it past 1 tbsp.Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

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.  
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

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.
Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs  

I forgot how much I like this dish. This is not fancy cooking, just good-tasting, simple home cooking. It has such mellow and laid-back flavors that my kid devoured two servings in one sitting, and that’s saying a lot.

Serve with a big, crispy green salad and a thick slice of crusty Italian country bread to soak up the lovely sauce and wipe the dish clean.  Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs

Kay’s Recipe Card

Click here for printable size.

Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs
Ingredients
  • 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
    pepper
    salt
Directions
  1. Finely mince the onion, bell pepper and grate the garlic. Add an egg, 1 1/2 tsp salt (use less if your parmesan is really salty), pepper, nutmeg, coarse mustard and ketchup to 1 pound ground beef. Top with the parmesan, mix it all up and form small balls. Heat some butter, oil or combine the two, brown the meatballs and remove them from the pan. Sautee the onions, bell pepper and garlic for about 4 to 5 minutes.

    Add a small can of tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a minute to sweeten the paste. 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), 2 tsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp dried basil and 1 tbsp dried parsley. Put the meatballs back in with the sauce. Pop the lid on and simmer the sauce, over low heat, for 20 minutes.

    Boil the pasta according to the instructions on your package. Take the lid off and simmer the meatballs and sauce for another 20 minutes giving it a chance to cook down a little. Check the seasoning. Finish the sauce with 2 tbsp sour cream or mascarpone.
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    22 Comments »

    1. 1

      looks really yummy! gonna make it this weekend! Thanks!

      amwtang on May 5, 2010 @ 1:32 pm
    2. 2

      mmm verrukkelijk!

      Loyoya on May 5, 2010 @ 3:21 pm
    3. 3

      That dish must soooooo good! Meatballls are so fabulous and yours look extremely tempting!
      Cheers,
      Rosa

      Rosa on May 5, 2010 @ 5:23 pm
    4. 4

      Another winning recipe from the Kayotic Kitchen! I really love that you didn’t pour in cups full of heavy cream. I can imagine that just a small amount of sour cream would give a smooth and creamy taste to the dish without being overpowering. Great job as always, Kay.

    5. 5

      It is so funny that you mentioned white balance! I’ve been having trouble with my white balance for a few posts now, and when I saw your photo in my reader, I said aloud, “Look at her perfect lighting and color. She never has trouble with white balance. I’m so jealous.” LOL!! All of your photos still look perfect even if you think they don’t. :) I’m bookmarking this recipe by the way. The meatballs look absolutely perfect.

      Memoria on May 5, 2010 @ 7:18 pm
    6. 6

      We had spaghetti for dinner the other night. No meatballs though.

      I think I’ll make these next time. Do they freeze well?

      Wolf on May 5, 2010 @ 11:45 pm
    7. 7

      I love the idea of putting sour cream in spaghetti sauce. Seems like you could get away with using low fat sour cream and no one would know.

      Deanna on May 6, 2010 @ 5:43 am
    8. 8

      Hi Kay!
      Tell me a subtitution for sour cream.. Will yourghert or curd work ?

      Nir on May 6, 2010 @ 7:35 am
    9. 9

      @Deanna:

      I mainly use low fat sour cream! You’ll never taste the difference.

      Kay on May 6, 2010 @ 7:54 am
    10. 10

      Yum, sounds really tasty.  Nothing like a good meatball and sauce with tasty pasta.

      Brad on May 11, 2010 @ 9:00 pm
    11. 11

      YUM! I was thinking about making spaghetti and meatballs, but now that it’s getting so warm in Chicago, I think I’ll have to wait. The sauce looks divine.

      Angela on May 25, 2010 @ 4:55 pm
    12. 12

      Great recipe! Only I wish the sour cream was listed in the ingredients list. That cost me an extra trip to the store… Also I’m guessing by the picture that you’re supposed to add the nutmeg to the hamburger? You don’t say in the directions where to add it.

      Mary on Sep 5, 2010 @ 8:54 am
    13. 13

      @Mary:

      I thought I added it to the list!

      In both the print recipe as well as the print card directions I wrote down that the nutmeg has to be added to the ground beef.  

      Kay on Sep 5, 2010 @ 9:56 am
    14. 14

      Hey! This sounds (and looks) amazing. Do you think this would work with ground chicken instead?

      Mariam on Oct 29, 2010 @ 4:45 pm
    15. 15

      Amazing.  A very unique spin on spaghetti and meatballs. Keep up the good work!

      Mark on Nov 25, 2010 @ 6:02 pm
    16. 16

      YUM!
      I’ll be making this tomorrow…HOWEVER, I do not eat beef!! I intend on making it with chicken. Do you think it’ll turn out!?! I’m new to cooking..so I’m not sure if chicken will work well with the ingredients..?>

      Mariam on Dec 10, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
    17. 17

      I made this recept last weekend,,,It was a great succes!

      Marco on Feb 4, 2011 @ 1:32 pm
    18. 18

      I made this and it was wonderful! My bf’s frat brother tried them and said it was better than his mothers! This was the first time I made spaghetti sauce from scratch I was so pleased with the result! Great recipe! FYI mine didn’t look like yours, my meatballs were huge and I used turkey but it was still excellent, nonetheless

      Amanda on Feb 25, 2011 @ 6:52 am
    19. 19

      I made this last night & I just snuck into my kitchen to warm up just the sauce & I secretly ate it with some toasted bread. shhh. Oh my goodness, I promise to NEVER buy a can of spaghetti sauce EVER again. My five year old stepson had a grown man plate & I swear it looked like he licked the plate. I absolutely LOVED this recipe. I followed it to a T minus the nutmeg, & I also added some hot sauce while my sauce simmered =). Thank you for sharing your deliciousness <3

      Caren on Jun 3, 2012 @ 2:39 am
    20. 20

      Ooh wat een lekkere saus was dit! Ik bedenk me net dat ik vanavond de nootmuskaat ben vergeten! De saus was er niet minder lekker om, mijn gast vond het ook heerlijk. Dit is een blijvertje :).

      Daniëlle on Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:40 pm
    21. 21

      Oh volgens mij zie ik jouw bereiding ook geen nootmuskaat meer voorbij komen, alleen in de ingrediënten lijst. Of kijk ik niet goed?

      Daniëlle on Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:46 pm
    22. 22

      Made these for the second time. Delish thank you! 

      Niamh on Feb 27, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

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