Thursday, November 3, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs From Scratch - Even the Noodles

When I watch The Godfather or any other Italian-esque movie, I get an irrepressible craving for spaghetti and meatballs.  One time, I was watching a French movie and got confused by the accent, and the cravings cranked back up again.


To make the pasta dough, I threw together two eggs into two cups of flour and maybe a tablespoon or so of water to help the dough along.  Then got myself a nice ball of pasta dough and rolled it out.  In order to get the dough thin enough, the key is to let the gluten in the dough relax.  When the dough starts to spring back after being rolled, wait ten minutes and then proceed rolling.

Make it work.
I think homemade pasta without a pasta machine is intimidating to most people.  It should be.  Not because it's hard, it's super easy to roll out your own pasta.  It's just time-consuming to cut eat noodle by hand.  The speedy method is to roll the pasta up and slice it.  This doesn't make the prettiest pasta, but it tastes just as good.  This time around, I decided to painstakingly hand-cut each noodle to perfection because this batch of pasta dough happened to be particularly vain.

Aren't I pretty?
Find a straight-edge to help keep the noodles uniform.  I looked everywhere in my apartment for a ruler and couldn't find one, so I ended up using a baking sheet.  Not ideal.  My sister is an architect so our home should be teeming with rulers, but clearly, she hoards them all away to save them from the utter disgrace of being used for non-architectural purposes.

You can see the screw-ups I threw onto the cutting board as I was working.
In the past, I've made noodles by drying them on the very rack I use to dry my laundry, and it worked so well, I did it again.

Like a pasta piñata.
Small apartment living calls for unconventional measures.
Pasta drying against the backdrop of a Seoul city sunset.
I didn't have to dry my pasta noodles.  I could have tossed them lightly in flour until it was time to cook them.  I was waiting for Noel to finish the spaghetti sauce and meatballs, so I just hung them out the to dry and then harvested when ready.

I cooked the pasta noodles in a pot of boiling water that had been salted and oiled (can I say oiled?...Honey, please oil my water.)  It took somewhere around 7 minutes until al dente.

To make the spaghetti sauce and meatballs, Noel just used the contents of his brain and not a specific recipe.  It's basically some garlic, onions, and peppers sauteed in olive oil.  Then a can of diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce.  Then a ton of spices - oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, cayenne, blah blah blah.  The meat balls are basically ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, minced garlic, minced onion and seasonings.  For a good recipe, click here.

First bake in the oven.
Then throw into your sauce.
Top with some parmesan cheese.  We used crumbled semi-hard ricotta.
Buon appetito.

1 comment:

  1. You should try the Greek equivalent sometime, mashed potatoes and meatballs. If you are interested, just search for Soutzoukakia Smyrneika. You might find it interesting, the tomato sauce is seasoned with cinnamon and the meatballs incorporate lemon juice. Just serve it on top of your favorite mashed potato recipe.

    Oh, I was going to respond to your potato gnocchi post too, but will just do it here.

    Pisarei are very similar to potato gnocchi, but are made using bread crumbs instead of potatoes. They are traditionally used in the dish Pisarei e Faso. But can be used and combined in any manner you find fitting for potato gnocchi.

    I have recipes and can send them to you if you would like. I suggest you try to Patates Yahni recipe I sent you first. If you don't like it, you probably wouldn't like my seasoning combinations and could find something better for palate online. However, if you do like it, I'd be happy to share more with you.

    I find myself reading a few of your entries each day. I am very thankful for the information you are providing to others living in Korea.

    Take care,




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...