Spaghetti and meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballsRight here we have a comfort food classic – here is our take on Spaghetti and meatballs…  or as they are known in spanish – Albóndigas.   

A few years ago, when me and Fabio first tried making fresh pasta, we didn’t have a pasta roller –  we used a rolling pin.  We WORKED for our dinner that night, it really is incredibly difficult to roll out pasta dough to an even thickness using simply a rolling pin, it takes a loooong time and while it was an interesting experience – it was doomed to be simply a one time thing.  Now, however, we have upgraded to an automated pasta roller – the Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment – and it has made a huge difference.  Now pardon me that this will sound a bit like an ad… but… everything that is difficult and time consuming about making fresh pasta is non existent when you use a pasta roller like this one.  So much so, that now, whenever we make pasta for dinner, we make our own, and we use Jamie Oliver’s recipe when we do it.  The dough comes together in around 10 minutes, and while it rests in the fridge for a half hour, we have time to prepare the sauce we are serving it with.  Rolling the dough out takes no time at all as the machine does the hardest work for you, and the pasta cooks so fast that you can drain the pasta just a few minutes after you drop it in the boiling water. 

We had made cheese once before – (the queso blanco) – but this was our first time making Ricotta at home and it turned out to be the best surprise of the week.  I think we are going to be making this one often.  This cheese is incredibly simple, absolutely delicious and quite versatile.  The flavor is rich, the consistency is creamy and it is nothing like grocery store ricotta all wet and flavorless.  Even if you don’t make a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs – this cheese is still worth making – for spreading on toast, bagels, sandwiches, or as a filling for lasagna.  We hope you enjoy it!

Spaghetti and meatballsIngredients / Ingredientes

Pasta (Jamie Oliver recipe) / Pasta

  • 4 cups of flour (sifted) / tazas de harina
  • 6 eggs / huevos

Meatballs – adapted from Tartine Bread / Albóndigas

  • 1 pound ground beef / libra de carne molida
  • 1 pound ground pork / libra de carne molida de cerdo
  • 4 eggs / huevos
  • 1 cup milk / taza de leche
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano cheese / taza de queso parmesano rayado
  • 1/4 cup red wine / taza de vino tinto
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs / tazas de harina de pan
  • 1 bunch parsley / puñal de perejil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt / cucharillas de sal
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper / cuharilla de pimienta
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes / cucharilla de pimienta roja

Ricotta – adapted from Smitten Kitchen / Queso Ricotta

  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk / tazas de leche entera
  • 1/2 cup cream / taza de crema de leche
  • 1/2 tsp salt / cucharillas de sal
  • 3 tbsps lemon juice / cuharadas de jugo de limón

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center / Colar la harina (o tamizar) en un recipiente grande y hacer un agujero en el medio.
  • Crack the 6 eggs into the well of the flour and using a fork start to beat the eggs together, once the eggs are well beaten, begin to bring in the sides of the well incorporating more and more flour into the eggs until the fork is no longer able to whisk the mixture / Romper los 6 huevos en el agujero. Con un tenedor batir los huevos, una vez que los huevos estén bien batidos, mezclar poco a poco con la harina hasta que el tenedor no es capaz de batir la mezcla.
  • Using your hands, form a dough and knead for 5-10 minutes, this takes a lot of effort but eventually you will form a smooth and elastic dough – you may not incorporate all of the flour – once you have finished kneading, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes before rolling out / Con las manos comezar a dar forma a la masa, esto tardaráentre 5 a 10 minutos. Después de esto colocar papel plástico a la masa y colocar al refirgerador por 30 minutos.

Fresh pasta

  • We use the kitchen aid pasta roller attachment to roll out our dough, starting with a quarter of the total amount of dough on the widest setting and folding the dough in half the first few times to knead the dough a little more so that it is ready to roll out thin / Para hacer el spaghetti y amasar la masa completamente nosotros utilizamos la máquina de kitchen aid para pastas. Comenzar con un cuarto del total la masa en la configuración más amplia y luego doblar la masa por la mitad cuando la pases por el amasador, asi la masa quedara mas delgada.
  • Every two passes through the machine, decrease the width of the pasta roller one level until you have rolled the sheet twice on level 4.  Proceed with the rest of the pasta dough until it is all rolled out  / Cambiar la configuración de la máquina poco a poco hasta el nivel 4, de esta manera la masa quedará mucho más delgada.

Fresh pasta - spaghetti

  • Pass through the spaghetti cutter attachment and set aside on a floured baking sheet until the meatballs and ricotta are ready / Pasar la masa por el cortador de spaghetti y colacar en una bandeja con mucha harina y dejar a un lado hasta que las albóndigas y el queso ricotta estén listos

Meatballs (makes 28) / Albóndigas

  • Combine the beef, pork, milk, cheese, wine, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.  Use your hands to mix everything together well and form the mixture into meatballs / Agregar en un recipiente la carne molida, el cerdo molido, leche, queso, vino, harian de pan, perejil, pimienta, sal y la pimienta molida roja.  Con las manos mezclar todo, luego formar las albóndigas.

Meatballs

  • Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, and working in small batches, add the meatballs to sear the edges all over, turning as needed so that the meatballs are browned on all sides / En un sartén dorar las albóndigas en todo los alrededores.

searing the meatballs

  • Transfer the partially cooked meatballs to a plate as you continue to cook the rest / Transferir las albóndigas en un plato y dejar a un lado.

Meatballs in tomato sauce

  • Once all the meatballs are cooked, wipe out any fat from the pan, and saute 2 cloves of crushed garlic with a little olive oil until fragrant, then pour in a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes and deglaze the pan, stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon.  Bring the tomatoes to a boil then reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs back into the pan and simmer for 20 minutes / Colocar dos dientes de ajo con aceite de oliva en un sartén, luego colocar tomates cortados en lata (28 oz), hervir y reducir el fuego y colocar las albóndigas en la salsa, cocinar por 20 minutos.

Meatballs in tomato sauce

Ricotta / Queso Ricotta

  • In a large saucepan with a thermometer attached, pour in the milk, cream and salt and stir together.  Set over medium heat and stir often, to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn, until the temperature is 190 degrees F / En una olla con un termómetro adjunto agregar la leche, crema de leche y sal y mezclar. Para no quemar la leche hervirla hasta la temperatura de 190 grados F.
  • Once the milk reaches 190 degrees, remove from the heat, gently stir in the lemon juice and set aside, undisturbed for approximately 10 minutes / Remover la mezcla del fuego y agregar gentilmente el jugo de limón, dejar a un lado por 10 minutos.

homemade ricotta

  • After 10 minutes, pour the milk, which will now have cheese curds floating to the top, into a cheescloth lined colander (which should be set over a larger bowl – to catch the whey) and set aside to drain for at least an hour / Despues de esto, transferir el queso a un paño de queso (ver foto) para sacar el exceso de líquido, dejar a un lado por 1 hora.
  • The ricotta will be smooth and creamy after an hour and ready to eat / El queso ricotta debe ser suave y cremoso después de una hora.

Assembly / Montaje

  • Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted bowling water, until al dente – approximately 3-4 minutes once the water returns to a boil after adding the spaghetti / Cocianar la pasta al dente ( 3-4 minutos)
  • Drain the spaghetti and add a spoonful or two of the fresh ricotta, a long drizzle of white truffle oil, a splash of cream and some grates of parmesan cheese.  Toss together / Colar la pasta y agregar dos grandes cucharadas de queso ricotta y un poco de aceite de trufa. También agregar un poco de crema de leche y queso parmesano.

Spaghetti

  • Serve a bowl of spaghetti with a spoonful of the tomato sauce, a few meatballs and topped with a quenelle of ricotta cheese (we added some chopped parsley for color and flavor but basil would be a great addition too) / Servir el spaghetti con un poco de salsa de tomate, algunas albóndigas y un poco de queso ricotta (al cual le agregamos un poco de perejil para poner color y más sabor).

Enjoy! / Buen Provecho!

Spaghetti and meatballs... Provecho!

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