Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

It's rare that pasta is necessary for health reasons. Carbs were needed for science...legit. Because this: 

Led to this:

So proud of the Husband for running and (even more impressively) finishing the CHICAGO MARATHON on Sunday. 26.2 damn miles fueled on the finest refined carbs this girl could muster. Homemade marinara and meatballs were most certainly in order. 

This is the base of many awesome things.

Simmered for the afternoon to perfection. This will make A LOT of sauce, but if I'm going to take the time, I always make extra for the freezer. Saved stuff like this are a lifesaver on hectic weeknights.

While the sauce gets good, I started mixing up this meatball business. I put a healthier twist on tradition with spinach and lean turkey.

Be careful not to over mix or tightly pack your meatballs. No one likes tough balls. Everyone loves Schweddy Balls though.

It's immature, I know, but I could have made some disgusting marathon chafing joke. I could have, but I didn't. Such a lady I am!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

For sauce -- makes 10-12 cups sauce (I reserved 2/3 in the freezer for future use)
3 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
4-5 garlic cloves
3 carrots, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For meatballs
1 lb lean turkey
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
2/3 cups bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten

1 lb thin spaghetti

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium high heat, saute onions until soft (about 10-15 minutes). Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another 10 minutes or until carrots have softened. Add red wine and crank heat to high, scraping off the bits from the pot. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves and red pepper flakes and simmer over low heat for at least an hour. Remove bay leaves. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by squeezing all of the liquid from the spinach. Combine spinach, turkey and all remaining meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Take care not to over mix or squeeze too tightly. Gently roll into 1-2 inch balls and back in the oven until golden, about 30 minutes. 

Both the sauce and meatballs can be prepared ahead of time. When ready to serve, prepare pasta to box instructions and serve with meatballs and sauce. 


  1. I just made this recipe tonight and it was so delicious! I actually just ate the meatballs and sauce together and the flavors were so good I didn't even need all the carbs! I love your blog...and i want to post this recipe on pinterest! Is there a way to do that? Thanks for this wonderful foodie blog :-)

  2. So glad you enjoyed it Liz! If you're interested in Pinning my recipe, feel free to repin from my Board.


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