August 15, 2008

Deconstructed Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef*
2 to 3 lb tomatoes**
1/3 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1 small onion, grated
1 egg
1 cup fresh ripe tomatoes

3/4 lb cooked, hot spaghetti
extra chopped basil
olive oil

In a bowl, knead together the meat, onion, basil, egg, olive oil, cheese, the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Do not squeeze. When thoroughly combined, form in to 2 inch meatballs. Thread on (soaked) skewers alternating with tomatoes. Brush the tomatoes and meatballs with oil. Alternately, do not use skewers and place the the meat and tomatoes on a grill pan. Place on the grill and cook, turning so they cook evenly. Grill until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Toss together the spaghetti and basil. Top with the meatballs and tomatoes, mashing the tomatoes slightly before serving.

*Be careful that the meat doesn't have too high of a fat content or there will be flare ups and broken meatballs. That's why I call for lean ground beef and not a mixture of other meats or a higher fat ground.

**Choose tomatoes that are about the same size as your meatballs for best results. I used the moderately sized "Fourth of July" variety.

My thoughts:

my grill friday
It was a little tricky maneuvering the meatballs around on the grill but it was worth it. Roasted tomatoes are just so tasty and sweet they don't need more than a slight mashing to make a delicious tomato sauce. And really, the novelty of making spaghetti and meatballs on the grill is high and the results tasty, so why not give it a try?