Who Knew? Meatballs are the NBT! Spaghetti & Meatballs

   A while back I posted a Basic Meatball recipe. I like to make up a batch of these and use them in a variety of ways . . . including pulling out a few for somewhat traditional-style spaghetti and meatballs.
    Didn’t realize when I first posted the recipe that meatballs are the NBT (next big thing) in the food world. Almost immediately I had a note (on Linkedin) from Ronnie Fein concerning an article she had written for MediaNews-Hears. And, since then, I’ve noticed that meatballs have been featured in every cooking magazine that I’ve leafed through.

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Meatballs (if using frozen meatballs, thaw them)
Olive oil
Marina Sauce (see recipe that follows) or use your favorite
Spaghetti, cooked according to package directions.
Parmesan cheese

1.     Meatballs — heat up some olive oil in a large heavy pot or skillet. When the oil’s hot, add a few of the meatballs; remove when they are brown on the outside (do not cook through as they will finish cooking in the sauce later; repeat until as many meatballs as needed are browned.
Brown a few of the meatballs at a time.
2.     Sauce — In the same pot or skillet, add prepared sauce. Or, if making from scratch, remove all meatballs and prepare the sauce in this pan.
3.     Adding Meatballs to Sauce — With the pot or skillet set on medium-high heat, add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for about 30 more minutes. Stir a couple of times as they heat.
4.     Serve meatballs over prepared spaghetti and top with Parmesan cheese.

Basic Marinara Sauce
¼ cup+ olive oil
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2  bay leaves

1.     In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
2.     Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
3.     Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. 

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