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So I’ve been MIA for a bit with the flu and then a nasty cold that followed.  I haven’t had the flu since I was in high school and I always get my flu shot (which of course everyone has an opinion about, I’ve gotten an earful of them over the last few weeks!!) but this year, everyone in my house had their turn with the nasty bug.  I haven’t been blogging much, but I have been taking pictures of everything I would normally blog about, so I have a bit of a stockpile of recipes and crafts to share over the next few weeks.

The first of those that I would like to share with you is something we call Spaghetti and Everything Meatballs.  This is what I make anytime the kids ask for spaghetti and meatballs.  It’s a very unique meatball recipe and we all just love it.  I use a store bought vodka sauce instead of a marinara.  I haven’t tried to make my own vodka sauce yet because the one I use from the jar is surprisingly good.  But I do have a few recipes for it that I’ll eventually try out.  We call these Everything Meatballs for the obvious reason: they have so many yummy ingredients in one place!  Now this is my slight variation of Rachael Ray’s Big Beef Meatballs so I can’t take full credit for this being my recipe.  I’ve just made a few tweeks to it to suit my tastes but I haven’t radically changed anything.

I got ahead of myself as I’ve been known to do when cooking, so I don’t have an ingredients photo.  So you’ll have to use your imagination for that part.  Now grab the following items and get started!

Spaghetti and Everything Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large white or yellow onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Cremini mushrooms (also called baby bellas), chopped
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup either Parmesan, Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano or whatever you have on hand, shredded
3 Tblsp capers, drained and minced (I always throw in a little over, I love capers!!)
3 Tblsp fresh sage leaves, chopped (fresh sage really tastes so much better than dried in this!  But if using dried instead, use only about 1 Tblsp as dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh)
1 egg
Salt and Pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 jar Vodka Sauce (I use the Safeway brand from Vons or Pavilions, it’s delicious!)

First, you’ll want to put on a pot of water to boil for the spaghetti.  I seem to forget to do this first a lot of the time and then I’m stuck waiting for the water to boil before I can put the meatballs in the oven!  Also, preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, throw in the ground beef and all remaining ingredients except the pasta and sauce.

Spaghetti and Everything Meatballs

Now get in there with your hands (wash them first, please!!) and mix everything together.  This is always my favorite part.  It grosses some people out.  To each his own, I guess!

Spaghetti and Everything Meatballs

Now you’ll grab a big baking sheet and give it a quick coat of cooking spray.  Form the meat mixture into meatballs, about golf ball size, or even a little bigger.  I usually get about 18 meatballs out of this recipe.

Spaghetti and Everything Meatballs

I know, my baking sheet has seen better days.  I’ve cooked a lot of food on that thing!  It’s clean, I promise you.

Now, pop these guys into the oven and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Don’t overcook them, you want them to be juicy.

While the meatballs are in the oven, drop in the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to package directions.  Also, pour the pasta sauce into a saucepan and heat it up.

When the meatballs are done, place them into large bowl or plate lined with paper towels to soak up the grease.  Then, put some pasta on a plate, top with three or so meatballs and the vodka sauce.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti and Everything Meatballs

I love these leftovers as well!  I will sometimes heat up the meatballs with some garbanzo beans instead of pasta and top with the vodka sauce.  So so good!

I have a recipe for Lobster and Crab Raviolis that I made a few days ago which I can’t wait to share with you all!  Look out for it, it’s a good one!

Go…………create something beautiful today!