Bucatini with Tomato and Meatballs
There is spaghetti with meatballs and then there is spaghetti with meatballs. You know, we all have our favorites. This is an easy recipe you can make at home that will keep you from needing to go out! The silky sauce, the tasty meatballs, and the al dente bucatini. Is this real life?
4 cups Best Tomato Sauce
1 pound De Cecco Bucatini Pasta
3 slices, thick stale bread (Sara Lee Artesano Bread works great!)
1/2 cup whole milk
12 ounces ground beef
12 ounces ground pork or pork breakfast sausage
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried Mediterranean oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
Heaping handful basil, julienned
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, pour milk over bread. Let sit until bread has absorbed most of the milk, about 5 minutes.
Squeeze out bread, discard the excess milk, and chop the bread into small pieces using a knife or your fingers. Return to the bowl.
Add to the bread the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, Mediterranean oregano, black pepper, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes.
Mix gently with your hands until just combined.
Shape meat into meatball of your desired size. We like about 3 inches in diameter.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.
Sear meatballs on all sides on until crusted and brown. Meatballs may not be cooked through.
Arrange seared meatballs on a prepared baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes until fully cooked.
Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted water until al dente; about 1 minutes less than package suggest.
Heat tomato sauce in a large sauce pan or skillet,
Transfer cooked pasta to sauce, stir and allow to finish cooking in the tomato sauce.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil.