Spaghetti and Meatballs

“This classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe is one my kids love, and one I love to make. It’s definitely a dish I find myself coming back to again and again. The best part is, the recipe calls for some red wine early on so it’s always a great excuse to open a bottle of Cab to enjoy while preparing the dish. This is never a bad thing.”
– Rob Wetzel, National Sales Director & Family Partner

– Serves 4 –

Spaghetti Ingredients:
1 lb. spaghetti noodles

Meatball Ingredients:
3 tsp. olive oil
¼ large yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup Italian style bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage, mild or spicy
2 eggs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

Sauce Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. olive oil
¾ large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ¼ cups AVV Cabernet Sauvignon
56 oz. crushed tomatoes (two 28 oz. cans)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 heaping tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan garnish, optional

Method of Preparation:
For the meatballs: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add onions and garlic, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to let cool. In a large mixing bowl, mix milk and breadcrumbs. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes, then add the onions, garlic and all remaining ingredients. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until fully blended. Shape the mixture into meatballs in the size of your choosing. In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, then in batches, add the meatballs to the frying pan. Roll or turn the meatballs around in the pan, browning all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove the meatballs and set aside (it is okay at this point if they are raw in the middle, the goal is to just brown the outside of them).

For the sauce: In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook while stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the AVV Cabernet, stir and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Once the tomatoes are blended, add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer. Stir in the meatballs and let simmer covered for 20 to 60 minutes to allow any raw meat in the center of the meatballs to cook and for all the flavors to meld together (if a thicker sauce is desired, simmer uncovered). While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti per package instructions. Drain then plate the pasta. Pour sauce and meatballs over the pasta and serve with a glass of AVV Cabernet Sauvignon. Top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.