Spaghetti and Meatballs

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: about 16 large meatballs, serving 4 to 6
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10 cups Simple Tomato Sauce for Pasta, recipe follows, or store-bought pasta sauce

For the meatballs:

1 large egg

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped yellow onions

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 teaspoon freshly chopped basil leaves

1 teaspoon freshly chopped oregano leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Emeril's Original Essence, recipe follows

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

For the Spaghetti:

1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente according to package directions

Salt, for seasoning cooking water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Simple Tomato Sauce for Pasta:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 medium)

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves garlic)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes

2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 (3-inch piece) Parmesan rind

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme


  1. Place the Basic Red Sauce in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Place all the remaining meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine, then form the meat into balls by rolling about 2 tablespoons of meat between your hands. Place meatballs on a plate as they are formed. (Hint: if your hands are slightly damp, the meatballs will roll more easily and will not stick to your hands!) When all the meatballs are formed, gently place the balls into the sauce 1 at a time using a long handled spoon. Be careful - bubbling sauce splatters! Simmer the sauce uncovered, and allow the meatballs to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes before stirring. Stir the meatballs into the sauce when they rise to the top.
  2. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. While sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Strain and toss with the olive oil. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Simple Tomato Sauce for Pasta:

Yield: 10 cups, 2 1/2 quarts
  1. Heat the olive oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and sugar to the pot with the onions, and stir well. Add the Parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon, until flavors have come together and sauce is thickened. Stir in the basil and let sit for 10 minutes before using.
  2. Remove from the heat, and use as needed. You can store this sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Yield: 2/3 cup
  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.