Please Don’t Sneeze

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“On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese.
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.”
 

I remember singing that song as a kid.  We had our own rendition of the lyrics and sadly thats the one I can still remember.   

Spaghetti and Meatballs is such a classical dish thats fairly easy to put together.  I haven’t had it in such a long time and something just made me want to have some….right away.  I was sad that it was a meat-only dish…but then I found a way to sneak in some veggies.  And for all of you meat-eaters out there are probably looking at me like crazy…well maybe I am but I love my veggies.   

Homemade Marinara Sauce

3 tbs olive oil 

2 cloves of garlic minced 

2 stalks of celery, chopped 

1/4 to 1/2 cup of carrots & mushrooms each, chopped 

1 -6 oz can of tomato paste 

1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes 

1 tsp each of dried basil, parsley, & oregano 

salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 to 1 tsp each 

In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat up the oil.  Add the garlic once the oil is hot and cook garlic for a few min, making sure to not burn the garlic.  Add in the celery, carrots, and mushrooms.  Cook until they soften, 3-4 min.  Mix in the cans of tomato paste, tomatoes, and seasonings.  Cook for about 5-10 min.  Take off heat.  With an immersion blender, blend together all ingredients until its a smooth sauce.  Adjust seasonings.   

Baked Meatballs (from here) 

2 pounds Ground Beef 

½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese 

⅓ cups Milk 

¼ cups Bread Crumbs (I used Panko) 

2 whole Large Garlic Cloves, Minced 

1 whole Egg 

2 teaspoons Dried Basil 

2 teaspoons Parsley Flakes 

1-½ teaspoon Kosher Salt 

1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 

½ cups Bread Crumbs 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, beat the egg.  Combine all ingredients except for the meat and 1/2 c of bread crumbs.  Place the 1/2 c of bread crumbs in a small bowl.  Slowly fold the meat into the egg mixture, making sure not to over mix.  Form balls out of the meat mixture, making sure to barely form the meatballs as to not overwork the meat.  Roll each meatball in the reserved bread crumbs to coat it and place on a greased baking sheet.  Once all the meat is rolled, bake in oven 20 min.  Flip the meatballs over and cook for additional 10 min.  Take out of the oven once they are done. 

 

Assembling  

Boil spaghetti according to package instructions.  In a bowl, layer the spaghetti, meatballs, and sauce.  Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.   And remember, please don’t sneeze.  

  

For dessert I made Chocolate Chip bars as a little change from chocolate chip cookies.  They were kind of like chocolate chip cookies but in brownie form.  

Chocolate Chip Bars (adapted from here

2 1/8 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted and cooled slightly 

1/4 cup applesauce 

1 cup (7 ounces) light brown sugar 

1/2 (3 1/2 ounces) cup granulated sugar 

1 large egg 

1 large egg yolk 

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used milk since thats all I had in the house) 

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Mix the melted butter, applesauce, and sugars together in a large bowl.  Whisk in the egg and egg yolk.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add this flour mixture into the the larger bowl until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  

Pour batter into at 9X13 baking pan that has been lined with foil, with the foil hanging off the edges to make for easy removal after being baked.  With a spatula, smooth the top, making sure theres an even mixture throughout the pan.  Bake for 24-28 min, until the top is a light golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Take out of oven and let it cool.  Cut 2 inch squares.  Remove bars by lifting the overhanging foil. 

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