Spaghetti and Roasted Bacon Meatballs

After making a pile of Roasted Bacon Meatballs, I had the immediate plan for the classic, spaghetti and meatballs. In Italy, spaghetti and meatballs are two separate courses, but in North America we generally enjoy them as one dish. There’s nothing like a tangy tomato sauce to pair with a hearty meatball, Roasted Bacon or otherwise, to enjoy with pasta.

I take a few approaches to tomato sauce depending on what I’m doing and the time involved. Sometimes, I make a Roasted Tomato Sauce that is a nice, relatively quick approach to tomato sauce. I tend to have it prepared and in my freezer at any given time, but other times I like the stewed flavour of a slow simmered tomato sauce, especially in the cooler months approaching winter. I’ll infuse it with the flavours of onion, carrot and celery like a normal sauce, but I’ve been quite taken with the addition of parsnips as well. It adds a different dimension of sweetness to balance the tangy flavour of tomatoes.

This is another sauce I like to have prepared ahead and in my freezer. Yes, I’m that guy with stacks of prepared stuff in containers in my freezer. It makes life a lot easier when I need something quick and easy. A little extra prep on a given day goes a long way. It’s that boy scout in me that never left….at least I’m not lashing people together anymore….I mean….off to the recipe!! 😉

Spaghetti and Roasted Bacon Meatballs

For the Tomato Sauce:

2 tsp cold pressed canola oil

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 large (796 mL/28 oz liq) can whole tomatoes, hand crushed

1 small (156 mL/5/5 fl oz) can tomato paste

5 cups water

3 Tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

   In a large pot over medium high heat, sauté the onion in oil until softened but not browned (about 5-7 minutes). Add the celery, carrot and parsnip and sauté to soften them as well (another 7-9 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water (I generally fill the empty cans with water to rinse out any tomato-y residue left in the can and add it to the pot), oregano, salt and half of the chopped garlic. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2-3 hours. The longer the better. Add the remaining garlic because I like the fresh hit of garlic in the finished sauce along with the simmered flavour that has infused in the simmering process. Purée the sauce with a hand blender or in a regular blender in batches until smooth. Set aside.

For the Spaghetti and Roasted Bacon Meatballs

10-12 Roasted Bacon Meatballs

200g/8 oz dried spaghetti

Prepared Tomato Sauce

   In a large pot of boiling water, add 2 or 3 Tbsp salt. Add the spaghetti, stir with tongs and reduce heat to medium. Cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked.

   While the spaghetti is cooking, heat 2 cups of prepared Tomato Sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the prepared Roasted Bacon Meatballs. Stir to cover the meatballs in sauce, reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for 7-10 minutes.

   Strain the spaghetti and add to the pan with the simmering sauce and meatballs. Stir to coat the spaghetti and divide over two plates. Arrange the meatballs around the plate how you like. If you want to place it more artfully in a spoke pattern around the sauced spaghetti, great, if not, just a random placement is great too. Serves 2.

IMG_5629

By the way, if you just cover prepared Roasted Bacon Meatballs with the finished sauce in a container with a tight-fitting lid, this also freezes incredibly well for a near instant dinner on any given night 😉

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