|Three-Animal Meatball and Marinara, right. Left is Alfredo and pasta.|
2 quarts Roma tomatoes*
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
a couple of basil leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes, opt.
Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté quickly for just a minute. Add tomatoes. Simmer on low 2-3 hours until reduced and oil is dark orange on top. Add basil chopped at the end.
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork (or a seasoned Italian sausage would work fine here too)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup spinach leaves chopped into small pieces (or if you freeze it ahead, it crumbles easily in a zipper bag)
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. garlic powder (or one clove crushed)
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper (try Penzey's pepper! Best ever!)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. bread crumbs (Italian seasoned if you use plain pork, or plain crumbs if you use Italian sausage)
Heat oven to 400°F. Combine all the ingredients with your hands until well blended. Prepare two cookie sheets by coating with some pan spray. Using a spring scoop (size 20) form meatballs and arrange 12 each on a pan. Bake about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and carefully add to marinara. Simmer about an hour or longer.
*The best tomatoes are the ones canned at home if you are able. If you buy, go for organic San Marzano DOP Authentic Plum Tomatoes. I think these are the best you can get.