Monday, June 26, 2006

Big Beef Balls with Bucatini

From Rachael Ray: 365 No Repeats

Coarse salt
3/4 pound bucatini (thick, hollow spaghetti)
1 pound ground sirloin
6 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 4 chopped
1 egg
1/2-2/3 C Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at the table
1/4 tsp ground allspice
coarse black pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
1 small to medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 C dry red wine
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/2 C fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
12 cremini (baby portobello) mushroom caps, chopped
1/2 C beef stock or broth

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions in 1 tablespoon of the EVOO for 5 minutes. Remove the onions and set them aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix the meat with half the onions, 3 cloves chopped garlic, the egg, bread crumbs, cheese, allspice, capers, sage, a handful of the chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and a healthy drizzle of EVOO. Score the meat into 4 sections and make 3 very large balls from each section. Arrange the 12 balls on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast 15 minutes until firm but not hard.

Drop the bucatini in the salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta and meatballs are cooking, heat another tablespoon of EVOO in the skillet in which the onions were cooked. Add the pancetta and cook 3-4 minutes, then add the remaining garlic and the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add the remaining onions back and deglaze the pan with the red wine, cook for 1 minute, add the beef stock, and whisk up any brown bits. Stir in the tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining parsley. Simmer 5 minutes.

Toss the pasta with half the sauce. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add to the remaining sauce, turning to coat. Serve 3 meatballs per person alongside the pasta. Spoon any remaining sauce over the pasta. Pass extra cheese at the table. Serve with a green salad.

No comments: