Sunday, July 10, 2011

day 18 = bucatini all'amatriciana with spicy smoked mozzarella meatballs

basically spaghetti and meatballs :)

this was excellent. i used Giada De Laurentiis's "Giada at Home" cookbook to make this recipe. but, a combination of being too cheap to buy some of the ingredients, too lazy to ask the store where they would be located, and forgetting to use some of them (typical me), led me to make the recipe below. must have been good because charley really liked it! it was also surprisingly easy.

if you want the real recipe, go to

here's what i did:

all'amatriciana sauce (i will double next time): 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (i used over 1/2 a 28oz can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan 


  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 16 (1/2-inch) cubes (i forgot to add this)
  • 1/2 pkg spaghetti 


for the sauce:
 - in a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
 - add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
 - stir in garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
 - add the tomatoes, salt and pepper.
 - simmer, uncovered, over med-low heat until sauce thickens, 15 minutes.
 - stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
 - i let simmer for 1 1/2 hrs, but not necessary. 

for the meatballs:
 - line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
 - in a large bowl, combine the onion through beef ingredients.
 - using your hands, combine all ingredients gently but thoroughly.
 - shape the meat mixture into 16 (1 1/2-in) meatballs and place on baking sheet.
 - make a hole in center of each meatball and place a cube of mozzarella (optional).
 - reform meatball so the mozzarella is completely covered with the meat mixture.
 - put in the refrigerator for 15 mins.
 - preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
 - bake the meatballs for 15 minutes until cooked through.

to finish:
 - bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
 - add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
 - drain and place in a large serving bowl.
 - add the meatballs and sauce.
 - toss gently and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
 - sprinkle with parsley and parmesan.

i've made quite a few meatballs in my life and they never came out well. these were excellent! i'm sure it's better with pancetta, romano cheese, and mozzarella in the meatballs, so if you try it with any of those let me know how it goes!

i am sure some of you are wondering if i will ever find a dish i do not like and trust me it may happen some day, but this dish is not one of those.  i don't know what she did or how hard these were to make, but the meatballs were the best i have ever had.  if i wasn't worried about packing on weight i would sit down and eat them all in one sitting.  they were amazing, moist and full of flavor.  excellent meal!


1 comment:

  1. Glad you are back - the meatball spaghetti dish looks amazing!