April 12, 2012

spaghetti & meatballs

A friend and former roommate of mine, Daniel, is currently studying abroad in Japan for a year. Before he left we had a goodbye dinner, and when I'd asked him what he wanted to eat he had said Italian. And because my sister had just procured me a pasta maker from freecycle, I thought it would be a great idea to make spaghetti and meatballs from scratch.

I consulted this and this "best meatball ever" recipes from allrecipes.com, and came up with my own amalgamated version:

half pound ground beef
half pound ground pork
about a cup of breadcrumbs (made by tearing stale bread into small pieces)
3/4 cup parmesean cheese
diced half an onion
minced 3 cloves garlic
1 egg
dash of milk
two dashes of olive oil
spices (italian seasoning, cayenne, salt and pepper)

All of this I kneaded in a bowl and formed into balls. The great thing about making meatballs (and other types of filling) is that it doesn't have to be exact, you can taste and adjust. And by taste I don't mean stick raw meat into your mouth - I pinch off a small piece and microwave it about 30 seconds, then taste. It's how my mom used to do with Chinese dumpling filling :)


Meanwhile, Daniel took the pasta dough I made and put it through the pasta machine.

The first turn was to make the dough flat.

fresh pasta turn 1

The second turn was to make the dough smooth (I was very impressed, the dough strip was very even and smooth.)

fresh pasta turn 2

The third and last turn was to make the dough strip into strands.

fresh pasta turn 3

Look! Fresh spaghetti waterfall!


Although we'd wanted just spaghetti, after having some trouble with the dough not going through we switched to the fettuccine setting, and that was much better.

The meatballs were baked in the oven at 350F until they were browned and the edges were starting to get crisp. The pasta was cooked and I warmed up sauce that I'd made in a large batch some time ago and frozen.

spaghetti set-up

Together it was mmm mmm delicious.

spaghetti & meatballs

The only thing was that the noodles were on the chewy side, and I think it's because the dough didn't have time to rest between turns and dry at the end. The gluten in the dough must've been too worked up and springy, hence the chewiness. I was too hungry to wait though. Story of my life!

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