Spaghetti and Meatballs

 Absolutely delicious. Garlic, a hint of spice, amazing meatballs.
I may never order this anywhere ever again.

So, there's this guy and more than this guy, there's this book that he wrote, and I love it. I love him. I love the whole kit-n-kaboodle of the whole thing. You've heard me sing the praises of Jamie Oliver before and you'll hear it again, don't doubt it. But it's only reasonable! This fellow knows how to cook!

For my birthday, my mother sent me a copy of Jamie's Food Revolution, which I'd only been going on about since it hit the shelves, and was absolutely delighted to finally have it to add in my cramped cookbook cabinet. That cabinet needs to get a big bigger. I may need a new place to store them, they're all crammed in at angles and crafty little layers and so on and forth. Very impressive. I'm going to need more room.

Not the point. The point is, this book? Amazing. Go get it. Get two! One for you and one for a friend. His theory on this is that you pass it on, and they pass it on, and so on and so forth and then everyone knows how to make good food at home! This is the first recipe I've made out of Food Revolution (and I suspect this book is also Jamie's Ministry of Food over across the pond, but that's neither here nor there) and before I fall asleep, I'm going to share this with you all.

And then I'm going to sleep so well it'll be insane.

My roommate, Matt, in awe of the deliciousness.

I made very few alterations to the original recipe, just a pinch more of this or a bit of that. The usual.

My roommate, Matt, told me that it was so good it was like I slapped the women of Italy in the face. High praise indeed!


- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (but, if your rosemary plant as dying and taken to someone's mother's house, then you could use dried - I still chopped it up)
- 12 saltines (or any plain cracker)
- 2 TSP dijon mustard (or a honey mustard is okay too)
- 1 pound ground beef
-  1 TBS dried oregano
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- olive oil

- small bunch of fresh basil (but dried is okay too)
- 1 medium onion
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp Vulcan Fire Salt (for a spicy kick, you can also use cayenne or a red chile)
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (I get both the plain type and also the ones with garlic or balsamic or onion in them, feel free to mix it up but keep an eye on your taste)
- 6 - 8 mushrooms, chopped
- 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound dried spaghetti or penne or whichever
- Parmesan cheese, for grating (okay, this, I did not use. I had shredded Italian cheese. And I used it.)

Here is how to make the meatballs!

Raw! Like the cavemen liked it! 

Pick the rosemary off the stalks and chop them up or, if using dried rosemary, just chop that up too. Smash the crackers until fine, and add that to a bowl with the mustard, ground beef, rosemary, and oregano. Crack in the egg and add a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Mix well. Go ahead, scrunch your hands up in there.

Turn it into meatballs - it should make about twenty-four, depending on the size you'd like. Drizzle them in olive oil and roll them about so they are all properly coated. Put them on a plate, cover, and pop in the fridge until ready.

These also freeze fantastically! I put some in waxed paper, to keep them from sticking I rolled them each separate and popped in them the freezer. Today, I just chucked a few in a hot skillet and BLAMMO delicious meatballs. I'm completely using this as one of my "stock up" recipes. Of which I can never get enough of. I need to start doing that more.

Back to the dinner.

To cook all!

Finely chop your onion and garlic and, if using a chile, finely slice it.

Put a pan of salted water on to boil and a heat a frying pan on med heat with a good glug or two of oil.

Add the onion to the frying pan and stir around for seven minutes, 'til softened and golden. Add in the garlic and chile and, if using fresh, large basil leaves (if not, shake in dried basil). Stir about for a moment. Add in the mushrooms and cook for a three minutes. Add in the tomatoes and balsamic, bring to boil and season to taste. Stick a lid on and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

Is the water boiling? If yes, add the pasta and cook to instructions, if not, move on.

Now. Get another frying pan. Add a bit of olive oil and your meatballs. Stir them around and cook for around eight to ten minutes - they should be nice and browned on the outside and when cut open, there should be no pink. If they are cooked through, add them to sauce and let simmer.

That one is broken because I ate part of it.
I am not ashamed.

I actually held back on a few of mine.

Now. Cook the pasta, if you haven't already, and reserve some of the cooking water in a cup. Then drain the pasta, back in the pot, and spoon half the sauce over it and add a splash of the pasta water to keep it nice and not claggy. This is where I added my set aside meat balls back to the sauce that was to be put on top the pasta. Serve, with sauce and meatballs on top, and sprinkle with some cheese or tiny (or shredded) basil leaves.

Really dig in, this is madly delicious. I had some garlic bread on the side of it and it was absolutely insanely delicious. I'm ready to call it a lockdown here and now, actually. But I will hold off.

'Cause I have a sneaky plan and until I'm ready to REALLY put into action, really unleash my crazy plan for this site here, I'll hold off on anything rash. Like locking something down a touch too early.

But do please make this, teach others, and really enjoy. It's brilliant as leftovers, as well, as I discovered today.

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