Like momma would make...if she was Italian that is.

The boyfriend and I have been together for 5 months this past Saturday *insert party horn here* I know that's not a big deal for some of y'all, but hey you gotta start somewhere right? So for our "month-i-versary" (yes, it's a word), I decided to cook us dinner. I've been craving good Italian comfort food lately, so I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs.

I had training all day (and I mean ALL DAY) Saturday, I pre-made the marinara sauce Thursday night and simmered it a while longer the day of while I made the meatballs. I pretty much took a bunch of things and threw them together to make a basic marinara.

Finely dice 1/4 large yellow or white onion and add it to a medium pot with 2 tbs of olive oil, 2 tsp chili-garlic paste, 1tsp white vinegar, and 4 tsp of honey. Simmer until the onions are translucent. Then add 2 heaping tbs of tomato PASTE and a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Heat and stir. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt to taste. Then pull off of stove and allow to cool down. Put in blender and pulse a couple of times until you get the consistency you want. I like mine a little thinner but you may want a more chunky sauce. The longer you blend, the runnier it will be. Pretty simple huh?

Looking on the Internet, I found a wide variety of recipes. Some with turkey, some with ketchup, and some stuffed with mozzarella. But none were what I really wanted. So for the first time I decided to do things my way (well 2nd if you count the marinara above). And I have to say it turned out better than I expected.

Makes 23 meatballs (medium-sized)

1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (unseasoned)
1 egg
1tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup butter milk
3 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Place the meat in a large bowl. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then add the tomato paste, buttermilk, olive oil, and beaten egg. Stir together and let it sit so that the breadcrumbs can soak up the mixture.

Slowly pour the ingredients into the meat, gently incorporating everything together with your fingers or a fork. Every place I looked said not to mix the beef up too much because that will result in tough meatballs. And although Matt loves hockey, I don't think he'd like to eat hockey pucks for dinner.
Then I placed the meatballs in a glass baking dish and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Check the inside of one to see if they're cooked. Now put the meatballs in the pot with your simmering marinara and continue to cook them for about 15 more minutes while you prepare the spaghetti.

And that's it. Warm, homemade Italian food for you and your loved one. And you don't even have to go to Italy. :)

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