Alright – this is for the nights when you want something a little tastier than a bag of frozen meatballs and a can of Hunt’s Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce (which, by the way, I highly recommend – it’s 80 cents a quart and really quite good).
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, or whole stewed tomatoes (I use whole and kinda mush them up with the spoon in the pan)
3-4 cloves garlic (sliced if you like chunks, minced finely if you don’t)
1lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed (Check with the sausage for stuff not in casings to make it even easier)
2 slices of bread or 2/3c. breadcrumbs
1/2c buttermilk ( or 1/2c milk and 1 tsp vinegar)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Pasta (of your choosing, I usually use whole wheat linguini or spaghetti)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil, adding 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of olive oil (the oil won’t keep the pasta from sticking, but it *does* break the surface tension, keeping your pasta from boiling all over the stove).
In a large bowl, soak the bread (torn into small bits) or breadcrumbs and 1tsp Italian Seasoning in the buttermilk for 5 minutes. Using a fork, mash it smooth, then mix in the sausage and egg until combined. Form into meatballs with two spoons (about 1 to 1.5″), spray with cooking spray and bake until dark golden brown on the edges – 17-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat just until garlic starts to turn golden – DO NOT LET IT GET DARKER THAN GOLDEN (burnt garlic tastes like NASTY). This will take 2 minutes or so. Add all the tomatoes and 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning, stir well, and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered, then cover and turn heat to low.
Cook pasta until al dente. If you’re doing spaghetti, this usually means that if you take a strand out of the water and throw it at the refrigerator door, it sticks. (You should also taste it, but I usually taste half and throw half >.> just to make sure, you know)
When the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and, using tongs or two forks, put them into the sauce. Stir to coat the meatballs, then re-cover and wait for your pasta to be done. Serve over the pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan, with a big side salad or other veggies.
This makes enough for 4 people’s worth of sauce/meatballs, but I usually only make 2 people’s worth of pasta, and then use the leftovers in meatball sandwiches the next day.