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Alex Guarnaschelli’s Goodfellas Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe

Cook with Me_Goodfellas Spaghetti and Meatballs (1)

GOODFELLAS SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
Makes 4 to 6 servings

GOODFELLAS SAUCE
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, with their juices
1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves

GOODFELLAS MEATBALLS
1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs, toasted
1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh curly-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
About 1⁄4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup olive oil

TO FINISH
Kosher salt
12 ounces spaghetti
1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


MAKE THE SAUCE:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until it warms and spreads to the edges of the skillet, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the onions (“not too many onions!”) and garlic, and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until the garlic and onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, oregano, and tomatoes with their juices. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring steadily, until the tomatoes break apart and the garlic aroma mellows, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Add 1⁄2cup of water and cook for a few minutes more, until the sauce tastes cooked and balanced. Taste for seasoning and keep stirring (“Don’t forget to stir the sauce!”). Stir in the basil leaves. Keep warm.

MAKE THE MEATBALLS:

  1. Put the beef in a large bowl, spreading it across the bottom and up the sides a little. (This will help you to distribute the seasonings evenly through the meat.)
  2. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs, Parmesan, chopped parsley, salt to taste, and the red pepper flakes all over the meat and use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Incorporate the egg. Do not overwork the meat or it will yield tough meatballs.

TASTE TEST:

  1. Roll 1 small meatball, about 2 inches in diameter.
  2. Heat some of the oil in a small skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, shut off the heat (to avoid splattering) and add the meatball. Cook for a few minutes, turning the meatball on all sides, until it’s browned on the out- side but still pink in the middle.
  3. Taste for seasoning and texture. If it’s too wet, add some more bread crumbs to the mixture. If too dry, add another beaten egg or a splash of cool water. Adjust the seasoning, if needed, as well. 4. Roll the remaining meat mixture into balls. You should get about twenty 2-inch meatballs.

If Sundays are often reserved for family-friendly meals, than Cook with Me is a great place to start. In it, Food Network star and Greenwich Wine + Food Festival special guest Alex Guarnaschelli introduces readers to hundreds of different recipes, some of which she made with her own foodie parents, others that she now makes for her own family, and all of which tell the story of her life in food.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM COOK WITH ME: 150 RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK BY ALEX GUARNASCHELLI, COPYRIGHT © 2020. PUBLISHED BY CLARKSON POTTER/PUBLISHERS, AN IMPRINT OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE.”

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