Fieri Spaghetti and Meatballs

My husband said that these are the best meatballs he’s had. This recipe is taken from Guy Fieri’s cookbook “Food”. It makes 24 meatballs, to serve 8. I used ground pork instead of the sausage. I also used 1 tablespoon each of dried basil and dried oregano.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
1 cup 1/2-inch diced sourdough bread cubes (from about 2 slices, crusts removed)
1 pound ground beef(80% lean)
1 pound ground bulk pork sausage, unseasoned
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (about 6 leaves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 to 6 cups Marinara sauce (recipe on blog – ” Fieri’s Marinara Sauce”)
2 pounds spaghetti
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the extra virgin oil. Cook the onion, bell pepper, and chili flakes for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and let cool. (Keep the pan handy).
2. Meanwhile, pour the milk over the bread and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain off the milk and lightly squeeze the bread, so that it is moist but not wet.
3. To the bowl with the cooled vegetables, add the beef and sausage, soaked bread, basil, oregano, pepper, parsley, grated Parmesan, and eggs. Mix thoroughly but gently and shape into 2-inch balls, the more gentle you are, the more tender the meatballs will be.
4. In the same pan used for the vegetables, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, browning each completely. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165F on an instant-read thermometer.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Bring the marinara sauce to a simmer over low heat.
6. Cook the spaghetti al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and toss with about 2 cups of the marinara sauce. You can either portion to individual plates or pasta bowls, add more sauce and 3 meatballs per person, and garnish with shredded Parmesan, or place the pasta in a large serving dish and top with sauce, meatballs and Parmesan.

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