Junior’s Big Meatballs with Spaghetti

Junior’s Big Meatballs with Spaghetti

For the sauce:
1 recipe Chef’s Marinara Sauce (to follow)**

For the meatballs:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds ground beef chuck (ask your butcher to grind it twice)
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup A.1. Steak Sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 extra-large eggs

1 pound uncooked spaghetti

Assemble the Chef’s Marinara Sauce in a large saucepan, but simmer the sauce slowly while you’re making the meatballs.

To make and shape the meatballs, heat 1 tablespoon each of the butter and the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and saute until crisp-tender, about 5
minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the beef, bread crumbs, parsley, cheese, steak sauce, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Whisk the eggs until frothy and mix with the beef mixture. Shape into 2 1/2 inch meatballs (you should have 12).

Heat the remaining butter and oil in the skillet over medium heat. Brown the meatballs, turning them constantly, then transfer them to the pan containing the sauce. Bring the sauce and meatballs to a rolling boil, then reduce the
heat to low and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook and drain the spaghetti according to the manufacturer’s directions. To serve, make a nest of spaghetti on each plate, then top with 2 meatballs, and ladle over plenty of sauce.

Makes 2 quarts

Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup A.1. Steak Sauce

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat until the butter melts. Add onions, green pepper, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and saute until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Add both cans of the crushed tomatoes and their puree, the tomato paste, basil, water, sugar and bay leaves. bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cook the sauce in the skillet, without covering it, until the flavors are blended and it has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure the sauce does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pot, adding a little more water if necessary.

Remove the sauce from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Ladle generous helpings of sauce on hot steaming spaghetti or your favorite cooked pasta.

Junior’s, Brooklyn, N.Y

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