Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Hello. How are you?
Have you dropped a little weight?

You're looking pretty good!

I've been dieting some. I've also been working out more.

Why?

Because there's so much going on in the world today that I can't do anything about. I can't help those people in Haiti besides write a check. I can't do anything about all the poor people (and self employed people) who have very limited access to healthcare. I can't adopt one of the hundreds of thousands of little orphaned Haitian babies. I can't find Osama Bin Laden. (Okay, I haven't looked either.) It seems to me that every time I listen to the news it's just more and more that I can't do anything about. I find it a touch depressing.

What I can do, and the reason for the dieting and working out, is ride my bike. I have a teensy little seat and I'm seriously hoping it gets MUCH more comfortable in the next 7 months. Because July 29th - August 1st I will be riding 328 miles in Pan Ohio Hope Ride. I will be riding to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and their Hope Houses. In fact, today, when I learned yet another person I love very much has been diagnosed with cancer, the only thing that made me feel the tiniest bit better was to put on my biking clothes and ride my bike. So if you'd like to support me, here's the link to my page. If you'd like to join the team I'm on (Adam's Army- named after a soldier who was a good friend of my team leader Mike) we'd love to have you! Just click on the button that says "Join My Team."

Also, expect to see updates ocassionally on how the training is going.

And yes, those noodles are made from scratch, not a box.

If it weren't for the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, I would be doing what every other chubby, emotional eater, in rural Ohio does and eating plates and plates of this delicious Spaghetti and Meatballs. Okay. I did eat plates and plates of Spaghetti and Meatballs, but in my defense, yesterday was my birthday, and I seriously think The Complete Meat Cookbook is one of the top 5 cookbooks in my library (one of the spare bedrooms, not the public library.)

Meatballs and Sauce
adapted from The Complete Meat Cookbook

meatballs:
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced onion
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (I used 1/4 cup dried because it's what I had)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
3 cups canned tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning. (Ok, it supposed to be basil, but somehow I have none in the pantry)

In a large deep bowl combine all meatball ingredients. kneading and squeezing until everything is well blended. Shape the meat into 24 meatballs (approximately 1 1/2 inch balls). Place the meatballs on a cooking sheet lined with parchment and place in a preheated 500° oven and bake for 10 minutes, ocassionally shaking the pan.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a Dutch oven, add the onions, celery, and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring once in a while. Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the red wine is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Add the Italian Seasoning (or basil) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes and then using an immersion blender puree the sauce to as smooth as you prefer.

Put the meatballs into the pan and simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and serve over the cooked pasta of your choice.

Serves 8.

4 comments:

CB said...

You go girl! Rock that bike. And ride like the wind for ACS!

Bellini Valli said...

Kudos to you Mary for participating in this. It has so many benefits!!!!Love your spaghetti andf meatballs as well...talk abnout comfort food!!!!

Johanna GGG said...

good luck with the cycling - I hope to be on my bike more this year but not for any worthy cause like you - I admire anyone doing such long rides - and wish I could if only for the great mounds of food I could eat - and the views

Cynthia said...

Hey Mary, congratulations and I totally behind you and yes, please keep us updated.