Sweet & Savory gets a Mediterranean twist with these baked meatballs served alongside spaghetti and a Greek-style sauce!
Sentimentality is sometimes described as the “attaching of immaterial value to a thing or place for the purpose of the memories attached to it.”
I’ve referred to myself as a classicalist here more than a few times, and often in the context of food that is reliably beloved, and that not only provides a feast for the palate but that conjures up images that help frame the meal either as part of the presentation or to create a specific set of expectations. A form of sentimentality, naturally, plays a part in this.
Take for example the ‘classic’ spaghetti and meatballs. The common image of mountainous pasta topped by thick red sauce peppered by rotund spheres of meat likely has a place in the memory of everyone reading this such that we all approach the meal with our own ideas. For some, this was a family favorite growing up, for others, it might be your favorite takeaway from your local pizza place, while for others, like myself, they might remember this as one of the first ‘big’ meals they learned to prepare on their own.
This was part of the idea behind today’s recipe. I purposefully wanted to take something blissfully familiar and make some rather subtle, but significant, changes into it, which, of course, brings us to today’s recipe – Greek Style Spaghetti and Meatballs.
First, we begin with the meatballs. Starting off with a large bowl, mix together an eggs, milk, crumbled bread, chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, the seasonings listed below, bread crumbs, chopped raisins, grated garlic, tomato sauce, and canola oil, and mix until they are thoroughly combined.
Now comes the fun part…and by that, I mean the messiest part of this entire equation – the incorporating of one’s hands into raw seasoned meat in order to form the mixture into balls of the desired size.
Bake the meatballs for about twenty minutes, and then set them aside, and it’s time to prepare the sauce. Note that you will have to adjust the baking time upward for larger sized meatballs.
Now, a little context, when I asked my son to try the sauce, I prefaced it with, “I’m telling you now before you taste it, my mother would have told me ‘Doll, what are you doing, this isn’t how you make a sauce,’” because honestly, I wasn’t sure what he would think.
Next up, while the meatballs are resting (yes, resting, being cooked is a strenuous process) we heat a large sauce pot with olive oil, sliced sweet onion, chopped Italian parsley, and garlic. To this, we add in the seasonings, and this is where we make our second ‘invisible alteration’ with addition of cinnamon and golden raisins, along with the rest of the seasonings. Once the onions become slightly golden and the garlic fragrant, we add in fifty-six ounces of canned crushed tomatoes, and add in about two tablespoons of honey, along with sugar and wine – yes, both sugar and honey, not either or.
The end result is a sweeter, slightly ‘fruitier’ sauce than I typically prepare.
Now, carefully add the meatballs into the sauce, and allow them to simmer for at least forty to fifty minutes or even longer.
While they’re simmering, prepare the pasta, and you’re done.
Enjoy with Love!