Around here, we love America's Test Kitchen. Most of our favorite, and almost all our foolproof, recipes have come from the pages of their cookbooks or the web content of their show. Our latest favorite is this Marinara & Meatballs recipe. Although factoring in good ingredients which are essential to the recipe made it seem a little pricey, we found that we can easily get 7 or 8 meals out of one batch, thus reducing the cost to a completely acceptable range. And the taste is divine!
First up was spaghetti and meatballs, of course. A few notes on the recipe:
1. Be sure to buy decent quality, block Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself. It is absolutely worth the splurge - trust me!
2. Use fresh basil and parsley, not dried.
3. Don't skimp on the onions. I used three large yellow onions, which had my kids moaning about too many onions (I am a certified onion lover so it's a common moan around here), but they loved the sauce!
4. Unless you like meatballs the size of hamburger patties, do what I did. Make normal size meatballs (a scant ice cream scooper full works great). I reduced the baking time by 5 minutes for the meatballs and cooked them in two big batches, the first of which I added to the sauce as directed, and the second of which I froze for later use.
Whatever you don't eat, freeze for later. Here's what I got from one batch in addition to that night's meal:
- 3 ziplocks with enough sauce and meatballs for spaghetti
- 3 ziplocks with enough sauce (no meatballs) for pizzas
- 2 snack-size ziplocks with just enough sauce for subs (1/8 - 1/4 c. is plenty)
- 4 ziplocks with enough meatballs for subs