Spaghetti and Meatballs
From: Kevin Goebel
1 pound lean ground beef
2 large cans (28 ounces) peeled tomatos
1 small can (6-8 ounces) tomato paste
1 green pepper
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound of spaghetti
Optional: Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top at the table.
Use the olive oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan (I prefer a #12 cast-iron skillet). Peel and dice the onion, core and dice the green pepper. In a mixing bowl, add the ground beef, pepper, salt, egg, and about half of the onion and green pepper. Mix and form into small meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter). Brown the meatballs in the skillet, add the remaining onion and green pepper. Break up the canned tomatoes as you add them to the skillet (you may need to add the second can gradually as the liquid cooks off) and stir in the tomato paste. Add the oregano and bay leaves and simmer on the stove top for at least 30 minutes before starting to cook the spaghetti.
Bring a large pan of water to a boil (in pre-sodium days I'd toss 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the water) and add the spaghetti carefully. Stir the spaghetti while the water boils and when it becomes fairly flexible start testing it every minute or so. Pull a strand out with a fork, run it under cold water for a few seconds and bite into it. It should not be crunchy, but should have just a hint of a chewy center. Remove the spaghetti from the water, run under cold water to stop the cooking process, then under warm tap water, and put into a colander to drain for a couple of minutes before serving.
Notes: A classical meal in our home, usually served with a tossed salad and italian bread that had been sliced, brushed with melted butter and a tablespoon of italian salad dressing (regular, not creamy style), wrapped in aluminum foil and baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.