Everybody loves Spaghetti and Meatballs. Unfortunately us gluten/dairy/soy free folks can’t simply order it at the local pizzeria, or get some from the supermarket freezer. I totally feel for you, and have been there, before this recipe. I’m a bit fussy when it comes to good food and these, I must say, are pretty awesome. I just posted the marinara sauce recipe, which I have written below.
The breadcrumbs in the meatballs make these so tender. I add celery for a little bite, and sweetness. The marinara is not a 4 hour marinara, but it tastes like it. If you want to tell your family and friends it’s been simmering all day, go ahead, I won’t tell! I add the meatballs into the pureed sauce towards the end to allow them to absorb all the flavors. I always use San Marzano tomatoes. Make sure the can says D.O.P, which means they are guaranteed by the European Union to be authentic from the Campania region of Italy. They are the real deal when it comes to that aromatic sweet tomato goodness. Because these tomatoes are sweeter than other varieties I don’t use real sugar. Instead I use xylitol (no calorie natural sweetener from birch or corn), and stevia (natural herb) to heighten the flavor of the marinara. Trust me, you don’t need sugar. I use Organic Brown Rice spaghetti. I find Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s brand are not mushy, and taste very much like regular pasta.
Nutritionally this meal is packed with Protein (beef), Lycopene (canned tomatoes), Selenium (onions), Vitamin C, Folate, Antioxidants (tomatoes), Manganese (Brown Rice Pasta). I know, who cares about all that as long as it tastes good. And it does, on both counts! Yes, there are a few steps to this meal so sometimes I will make extra meatballs and marinara and mix the two to freeze for a quick meal next time when it’s just too crazy of a day to cook. Just thaw, and heat through. Label the airtight container for easy reference (who can remember). I have had it in the freezer for up to two months and it tasted like it was never frozen. Just make sure not to freeze the meatballs separately as they will get soggy with freezer burn (my first experience). This is a dinner, or lunch recipe your family will love, and will be grateful to have spaghetti and meatballs again. Enjoy!
Makes 3 quarts of Marinara Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Cook Time: 80 minutes
3 large cans San Marzano tomatoes, peeled and whole
2 large onions, chopped (preferably sweet)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled and minced in a mini food processor (measure in a baking measuring cup)
1/4 cup xylitol (I use Epic Dental brand, sold online)
1/2 dropper organic stevia liquid extract
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons oregano, dried
2 tablespoons thyme, dried
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
San Marzano tomatoes…
Heat a 6 quart heavy bottomed stock pot (helps distribute heat evenly) over medium heat, once heated pour in olive oil. Add onions and saute for a few minutes until opaque. Add all the garlic and stir until it just starts to brown then add all the canned tomatoes and stir well.
Add oregano, thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper, stir. When it begins to boil set the heat to low, and let it continue to simmer for another half hour or so covered. With a hand held immersion blender, puree the marinara sauce. Make sure the immersion blender blades are completely submerged into the sauce or you will have sauce all over your kitchen! Then add the fresh basil and the meatballs into the marinara sauce, keep the cover on the pot for another 15 minutes. Then leave uncovered for the final 15 minutes of cooking time.
Can you smell that? Mmmm…
Makes about 22 meatballs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 pound ground veal
1 1/2 pounds ground grass-fed beef (preferably 80/20)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 celery stalks, chopped fine
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 cups breadcrumbs (1 Udi’s gluten/dairy/soy free hot dog bun, toasted and prepared in mini food processor)
1/4 cup rice milk (or almond milk)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
4 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
In a heavy bottomed skillet on medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil then onions, saute for a few minutes, add the celery and garlic, and cook until soft. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs and rice milk. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine beef, veal, kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, granulated garlic, parsley, and tapioca flour. Add the cooled onion, celery, garlic mixture. Mix lightly with a fork or your hands without compacting the meat, otherwise, it will toughen the meatballs.
Add the egg, and soaked breadcrumbs; mix until fully incorporated. With slightly wet hands, take a handful of the mixture (prevent meat from sticking) and form a round ball by moving it in opposing directions between your two palms in a circular motion.
In a large heavy bottomed skillet on medium high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil (add more oil if the meatballs are absorbing the oil quickly), cook meatballs approximately 3 minutes on each side or until browned (It is okay that they are not fully cooked inside, they will continue to cook in the sauce).
Place meatballs into the simmering marinara sauce and finish cooking for 30 minutes more minutes of cooking time.
Serve hot over spaghetti.
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 1/2 packages organic brown rice spaghetti (preferably Trader Joe’s brand or Tinkyada)
Bring a large stockpot of water to boil, add a few heaping pinches of kosher salt. Add 1 1/2 packages of spaghetti. Stir frequently with a pasta utensil to break up any sticky pasta. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let pasta sit in the water for 5 minutes, then drain. Serve hot.
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