Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dinner Possible: Spaghetti and Easy Meatballs

Welcome to the new feature at the Temple! I'm going to share dinner recipes, adapted and otherwise, made entirely...or ALMOST entirely...with stuff bought at F&E. If I can help it, I will tally up how much I spent for the dinner too. Let's see how our experiment goes, okay kids?

Today's feature recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver's lovely Quick Sausage Meatballs with a Tomato and Basil Sauce, Spaghetti and Sweet Raw Peas. Instead of making meatballs from ground meat, Jamie uses the meat from Italian sausages which he plops unceremoniously onto a hot pan to brown on all sides for that rustic look. He makes his fresh sauce in another pan while the pasta is cooking in another pot. He assembles everything in the end and topped it off with freshly popped-out-of-the-pods English peas.

Because I am lazy, and my husband can be a little picky, I adapted this recipe a bit by reusing the same skillet that I fried the meatballs in to simmer the F&E basic marinara in. And I nixed the peas. Anyhoo. Here goes!


1 lb. spaghetti, cooked according to the packaging
1 jar F&E basic marinara sauce
1 package F&E Mild Italian Sausage
A splash of red wine/Marsala wine/chicken stock to deglaze
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Heat up a skillet. Add a few glugs of EVOO.
  2. Cut the end of the sausages and squeeze out the meat. One link makes about 4 good size meatballs. Just drop these "meatballs" into the pan.
  3. Brown on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pan and drain out the leftover fat. (A little bit left is okay.)
  4. Hit the pan with a splash of red wine/marsala wine/chicken stock (whatever you have on hand or like) to deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the marinara sauce, stir, and add the meatballs back in the pan.
  6. FREESTYLIN' GOES HERE! I'm pretty sure everyone has their own favorite way to cook up your favorite jarred sauce. Some folks add a bit more herbs and simmer. Some just heat through and serve. So, go your own way here.
  7. As for me, I use marsala to deglaze and I'll add a glug more here, a few pinches of brown sugar, a shake of red chili flakes, and a bay leaf. Bring to bubble and then turn down the heat to simmer with a lid on for at least 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.

I already had some whole wheat spaghetti and parmegiano-reggiano at home (bought previously, not from F&E). So that's what we had with the sauce.

1 comment:

MaryP said...

Just discovered your blog and LOVE IT! And I adore Fresh and Easy! (I've been busy e-mailing your pic of the grill pack to all my friends telling them to run, don't walk to F&E ASAP!)
Anyway... The spaghetti... It's funny - when my F&E opened a few months back, I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs as my first meal. Well, I was so sad because the pre-made meatballs were just ok and the sauce (can't remember which flavor) tasted like dirty socks - literally! I was so disappointed as I had such high hopes for this store. Thankfully, that was the first and last bad thing I've purchashed there!
Well, your blog is saved to my favorites - look forward to reading more.