Yesterday was the big day! Not only did I host a "jump-party" for my 4-year old's birthday, but I also hosted a family dinner - and the birthday boy requested Mama's Spaghetti & Meatballs. With a bit of planning, in three easy steps I was able to make it happen.
Step One: Meatballs The meatballs were baked & frozen last weekend, and it saved a lot of time. Check out Meatballs 101 to see my recipe.
Step Two: Sauce Saturday morning I pulled together the sauce and let it bubble away in the slow cooker for 5 hours on the lowest setting. Don't forget to compost your veg-scraps.
After I transferred the sauce to the slow cooker, I added the frozen meatballs and let them labor the sauce and gently warm all afternoon.
Step Three: Noodles, Garlic Bread, etc. An hour before dinner, get the pasta water going, make the garlic topping for the bread & grab your garnishes.
Mama's Marinara: Ingredients:
- 2 jars of canned tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, pulverized
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced (I had a bag of shredded carrots so I repurposed them!)
- salt & pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese to top your mountain of pasta
- in a large dutch oven, sauté your soffritto of garlic, shallot & carrots, 5-10 mins
- add red pepper flakes as well as your salt & pepper to the soffritto
- add the tomatoes & dried herbs, bring to a simmer
- cover & cook over low heat all day long, stirring occasionally
- alternatively, after step 3 is complete, transfer your sauce to a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours
- toss with your fav noodles and enjoy!