Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beef Meatballs in Marinara Over Rigatoni

I have to tell you, I am not a fan of ground meat.  I just don't dig the texture.  I definitely don't do hamburgers.  Too much ground meat all pressed together, I think.   But I do crave a good meatball.  Strange, I know.  But as Mr. Gooch has learned over the years, my food likes, dislikes and issues rarely make any sense.  I could do a whole post on why I don't like shellfish, tomatoes, beans cut into log shapes, mushrooms and a number of other foods.  That is for another time.

This post is about these tasty meatballs.  I have been following Le Petit Pierogi for some time now but haven't yet made any of her recipes.  If this one is any indication, I will definitely be trying more.  I actually have the recipe for Oven Roasted Chickpeas starred in my Google Reader and it should be coming up on deck soon.

These went together quickly and easily.  I used a dutch oven to brown the meatballs and to cook the meatballs in the marinara sauce since I wanted to try to keep the number of dirty dishes to a minimum.  Mr. Gooch loved them and said I would have to make them again. 

Even better, we had plenty left over to package up with some of the sauce and rigatoni to pop in the freezer for last minute meals. 

Beef Meatballs
(Modified Slightly From: Le Petit Pierogi)

1 lb ground beef (we used 18 oz)
1/3 red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg
2 tbsp ranch dressing
2 tbsp red wine
3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs (more or less depending on how the meatballs hold together)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp Italian dried herbs
1 qt marinara sauce (I used my homemade marinara)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except for the marinara sauce.
Mix by hand until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Roll into 1-2 inch diameter balls.
In a large dutch over, over medium-high heat, brown the meatballs on all sides.
Work in batches if necessary.
Once all meatballs are browned, place all back in to the dutch oven and cover with marinara sauce.
Stir gently to cover the meatballs with sauce.
Cover and bake for 1 hour.
Serve over pasta.

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