Now that the snow has FINALLY melted, we’ll soon be in full swing working outside for the growing season. I’m trying to take opportunities to cook some more time-consuming meals now, before we hit the growing season (a.k.a. grilled cheese season).
I didn’t plan on a little trouble with the chickens last Sunday, so although we ate the time-consuming meal, it was just a little bit late.
The spaghetti and meatball recipe is from Simply Recipes. I don’t follow it exactly, because I usually have to adjust for the ingredients we have on hand.
First, I started some of our favorite French bread- which we mix in the bread machine, but bake in the oven.
The second step was dealing with our canned tomatoes- sauce, dice, and paste. We’ve finally figured out how to make them less acidic (since I used citric acid instead of lemon juice when I canned last year). For 3 pints of tomatoes and a 1/2 pint of paste, I added 1/4 tsp baking soda, stirred them up, and let them sit for an hour or so. THEN, they were the perfect for the sauce. (I did add a tiny bit of brown sugar to the sauce, but I often do that when using tomatoes, anyway.)
Next, I mixed up the meatballs. Realizing that the recipe calls for sausage after I bought ground pork, I added a mix of extra herbs with an Italian bent. Our bread crumbs are a little large because I make them from leftover bits of bread and store them in the freezer. They work very well, though. I didn’t grind them any smaller, and the meatballs had a lovely texture.
By the time the meatballs were cooking, I realized that dinner would be VERY late and we were already VERY hungry. So I pulled out the cute dipping dishes that Mark’s parents gave us for Christmas, and the seasoning mixes. I added olive oil, and set them aside for the flavors to meld.
And we sat down for our fancy appetizers- one of the French bread baguettes and 4 cute dipping bowls with flavorful oils. These particular seasonings were very salty, so next time we can use less, or mix up our own seasonings without salt. This was very fun, and we enjoyed “dipping” at home.
The results: AMAZING. We had lots of green beans and the 2nd baguette along with the o-so-delicous spaghetti and meatballs. I liked this meal better than anyone else, but everyone liked it.