Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; toss lightly to mix well. With teaspoon or melon ball scoop, shape mixture into small balls (makes approximately 30 3/4-inch balls).

Pour enough vegetable oil into the bottom of a skillet to lightly coat the skillet. Brown meatballs in the oil over medium-high heat. Remove and drain.

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) petite diced tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) Furmano's Crushed tomatoes (preferably with basil, if you can find it)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (remove after cooking)
1 cup Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Stir. Add meatballs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, one and a half hours, stirring occasionally.


  1. Hi!
    This is my first time to Kitchen Divas, though I have been to Amy's blog. This idea of a cooking exchange was always a DREAM to me while raising my kids, (they're now grown) but I never could make it happen, (not enough moms interested, not same family size or food likes, etc.) but I always thought it would be fantastic! So, I have questions. In the end, how many different meals do you receive in a month? Do you feel it's worth the effort? How has this helped you? You plan together, but cook separately, right? What are some of the kinks you've had to work through?
    If this could really work, wouldn't it help a lot of moms? I would love to pass it on to the young moms who read my blog! Just need more info--could you let me know, please.

  2. Wendy, I'm sorry it has taken so long to answer your questions. We receive 6 meals each month (1 that we made plus 5 others from the other group members). Now, for many of us with younger children, we can get two meals out of each meal (because each meal serves 6 adults), netting us 12 meals each month from our cooking club. Yes, I definitely feel as though it's worth the effort. It has helped me expand my recipe horizons, be better organized with meal planning, and have a healthy go-to meal in the freezer on those days when life happens and I haven't had the opportunity to think about dinner. We do our planning together each month but cook separately at our convenience. We had an extensive discussion at the beginning about expectations regarding meat (types of cuts, organic or natural, amount per person), fruits and vegetables (organic or natural, eg.), the type of packaging (we agreed on only Ziploc freezer bags that press and seal, not the zippers - because the others frequently leak), the size of each meal (an entree that will serve 6 adults), and that this group was about making meals that we would make if we had a couple of hours each night to prepare a meal (i.e., not usually just throwing some frozen chicken breasts in a store-bought marinade in a plastic bag).

    I hope this helps answer your questions, Wendy. I do think that this type of group would be a huge help to a lot of moms. If nothing else, being part of a community of women who also love to cook and are committed to providing good food for their families is wonderful. Our monthly meetings give us the opportunity to love on and support each other as mothers and cooks. And, sometimes, when I am cooking my meal for the month I find it just as easy to do two of my recipe for our freezer. If you have any further questions, please ask. We'll try to answer you sooner next time!