Courtney’s Signature Meatballs (and shortcut sauce)

by courtneyanddaniel

I’m not going to lie.  I grew up as that kid who didn’t want anything on my noodles.  It wasn’t until I went to college and met Daniel that I started eating sauce (or anything else besides cheese) on my pasta, mostly because I was too embarrassed to admit I didn’t like tomato sauce on my pasta.  (Once we get into fresh tomato season, I’ll share my recipe for roasted tomato sauce and vodka sauce.  In the meantime, enjoy my “semi-homemade version!)

For the meatballs, you’ll need:

  • 1¼ pound ground beef (I use 90/10, or you can use turkey.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS garlic
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed rep pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBS worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, ground or finely grated
  • ¼ cup plain bread crumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup red wine (shiraz and merlot work well)
  • 1 jar of quality store-bought sauce

Combine all the meatball ingredients and let sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator (I usually make mine just after lunch to prepare for dinner).  Form into 1.5 oz. balls just before cooking.

In a skillet preheated to medium heat, add olive oil.  Add the meatballs to the pan, but don’t overcrowd, do them in a few batches.  You’ll just want to brown them, not cook them through.

Once all the meatballs are browned, put them all in the pan and add the wine.  Cover the pan quickly to catch all the steam.  After about 30 seconds, pour the entire jar of sauce all over the meatballs.  Recover the pan and turn heat to medium-low.  After about 15-20 minutes, the meatballs should be cooked through and ready to serve.

Serve over tortellini or your favorite pasta shape.