The other day, I remembered that I’ve had some ground chuck sitting in my freezer for probably at least a month. I wanted to make a fairly fast, delicious meal. At first I thought about burgers, but I didn’t have any buns (or real bread, for that matter). I have about six pounds of spaghetti, bought from Sam’s Club, so I settled on Spaghetti and meatballs.
Protip: If meat is properly packaged, it can be frozen anywhere from six months to one year and still be considered edible. Just be careful of odd tastes from freezer burn after a certain point.
I have to warn you that the pictures below are likely going to be crappy – they were taken from my iPhone 3GS and I apparently don’t have very steady hands.
The original recipe for the meatballs comes from allrecipes.com and has been modified slightly to fit my needs.
Start the meatballs first because while they are in the oven, you can cook the spaghetti and then everything comes out at the same time.
20 ounces (1.25 lbs) ground beef / chuck / turkey*
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup italian bread crumbs
Olive oil or PAM
Salt / Pepper
* You can use your choice of meat. Turkey tastes great and tends to have very little fat. Using 99% fat-free meat will not work well with this recipe.
- Preheat oven to around 350 degrees
- Wash your hands
- In a bowl, hand mix the meat, bread crumbs, beaten egg and any optional ingredients you decided to use.
- If you don’t have bread crumbs, you can substitute it for thoroughly crushed croutons. Remember, it should look like crumbs.
- Protip: Clip your nails before shoving your hands in the meaty goodness
- Get out a pan and either:
- Spray it with PAM, or
- Pour some olive oil on it and ensure that it’s fully covered
- Once everything seems evenly mixed, roll into balls and place onto the pan. You can use an ice cream scooper or large spoon if you want.
- Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.
- Carefully (don’t burn yourself) flip the meatballs over and bake for another five minutes.
- Turn off oven and remove meatballs.
- Transfer the meatballs to a different container if you want
Remember to cook the spaghetti while the meatballs are in the oven. If you time it right, they will be done at the same time, and everything will be nice and hot!
Pasta (I used angel hair)
- Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Protip: Leave at least 1 1/2 – 2″ of space at the top so that your boiling water wont overflow when the pasta is inserted. Always account for added volume.
- Once the water is boiling (and don’t cheat – it should be fully boiling), add the pasta.
- Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from clumping or attaching to the pot.
- The pasta packaging will tell you how long to cook the pasta for, but you can usually get by with 8-10 minutes. If you’re unsure, just do a taste test with a noodle to see.
- Once the pasta is ready, shut off the burner and drain the pasta. Be careful of the scalding water.
Hey – I’m in college, I’m not some master Italian chef. If you want to roll your own sauce, feel free, but I just turned towards a jar.
- Pour some sauce into a pot and heat it on low-medium until it’s bubbling a little.
- Make sure to stir it occasionally
You can even add your completed meatballs to the sauce for a couple minutes! Yum!