Sunday, March 13, 2011

#19 - Pasta all'Amatriciana with Meatballs

We were looking to make a new pasta this week, and stumbled across this Amatriciana recipe from Giada online. Since we loved her macaroni and cheese and her salmon in foil was really tasty and simple, we thought we'd try another one of her recipes.

Pasta all'Amatriciana with Meatballs

Adapted From Giada at Home
Since this recipe included a complicated sauce and some crazy meatballs, there were approximately three thousand ingredients we had to line up for this picture.
Emily always cries when she has to cut an onion, and we thought that following this recipe's instructions to grate the onion as opposed to chopping might help.

Wow. We were wrong. Grating an onion may be the worst experience one can have with produce.
So one thing that was pretty scary about this recipe for meatballs was an ingredient that just doesn't belong in Italian food - ketchup. You can't see it in this picture, but we were grimacing as we were measuring out the Heinz.
Once mixed, though, the meatballs looked fine. We didn't feel tempted to dip french fries in them or anything.
After getting the meatballs all prepared, we made the Amatriciana sauce, which had a lot more traditional Italian ingredients - olive oil, pancetta, garlic, salt, etc.
In the end, the final dish was alright. It was a nice meal, but probably not one we'd make again soon.

The meatballs tasted fine, but the little voice in the backs of our heads saying "There's ketchup in there - gross" was a little distracting. And since we know how to make other meatballs that are definitely tastier, we'll probably stick with those.

The Amatriciana was good, and we might make that again, but first, we'll have to finish the leftovers.
If you wanna try your hand at it, here's the recipe:

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb pork, veal, and beef meatball mix
  • 2 oz Bocconcini mozzarella balls, halved
  1. Position an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the onion, parsley, Parmigiano, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the meat, and using your hands, mix well.
  4. Shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Make a hole in the center of each meatball, place half-ball of mozzarella inside, and reform the meatball so the cheese is completely covered.
  6. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes until cooked through.
Pasta all'Amatriciana
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 6 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 lb spaghetti or other long pasta
  1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until golden-brown.
  3. Remove the pancetta to paper towels.
  4. Add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and the cooked pancetta.
  7. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  8. Stir in the cheese.
  9. Cook pasta in salted boiling water, strain, and toss with sauce and meatballs.

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