I haven’t eaten spaghetti and meatballs for years. It was a staple when I was growing up, but I’ve only had it a handful of times since becoming an adult. First I was a vegetarian for a few years. Then I started eating more meat, but cut back on grains. Then I started the Blood Type Diet, and we did have spaghetti and meatballs a few times with rice pasta, but it was never a hit with the kids. They seemed to prefer meatballs with rice and gravy, and since rice is WAY cheaper than rice pasta, that became a staple instead. Hannah never liked pasta much, and Jack always preferred his pasta to be dairy. Why waste the more expensive form of food on a less favorite meal?
Lately, money has been extremely tight, and the only pasta we have comes from the food pantry or another free source. For the most part, I save it all for Jack, or I’ll occasionally have a small bowl of rice pasta when he’s eating a much larger portion. I usually add some fish and butter to mine, while he uses canned tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sometimes ricotta cheese instead. Tomatoes are an avoid for him as a B, but it’s just about the only vegetable he’ll eat regularly, so I let him eat it.
In the pantry right now is a box of quinoa pasta. I absolutely love quinoa, but Jack doesn’t. He told me I should eat the quinoa pasta, and he’ll stick with the rice, or spelt pasta he cooks in my kitchen, or the wheat pasta he cooks downstairs in my Mom’s kitchen. We set up one kosher pot for this purpose, so I don’t get sick from the smell of cooking wheat.
Right now. Hannah is in Israel and Jack is away at camp. I have only myself to cook for, for two glorious weeks! I was going to make spaghetti and meatballs for my birthday, but since that fell on a Friday this year, I made a more traditional Shabbos meal, and saved the spaghetti for this week.
First, I made meatballs my usual way. I mixed together ground beef with various spices: chopped onion, dried basil, garlic powder, and an egg. I shaped this mixture into balls and put it into a 400 degree oven to roast. While the meatballs were roasting, I cut up vegetables for the sauce. 2 large cloves of garlic, half a cup of chopped mushrooms, a whole large onion, and one and a half large carrots, cut into thin circles with the peeler. I roasted those in olive oil with red pepper flakes and salt. When they looked and smelled done. I added a can of pumpkin, filled the empty can with water and added that, and then about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. It still didn’t taste quite right, and I wondered if I should have used broth instead of water. I went outside and got some fresh basil, cleaned it and chopped it tiny and added that to the sauce. It still didn’t taste right. then I added a few dried spices: parsley, oregano, and rosemary. NOW it tastes good!
Around this time, the meatballs were done so I added them to the sauce and set it on a low simmer, then started the water for the pasta.
The end result- delicious! I’m going to enjoy this for dinner two or three times this week! But the proportions of everything weren’t quite right. I could have used another can of pumpkin, or a large can instead of a medium sized one, for a pound of beef and a pound of pasta.