Spaghetti #1

This is the quick version of spaghetti, takes about an hour on the stove (although a little more time makes it better) but in order to do that, you have to use a couple of shortcuts…

  • 2 bags Trader Joe’s Italian-flavor Frozen Beef Meatballs (no, really, they’re good for this, trust me)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Garlic (2-3 cloves fresh and chopped, a heaping half teaspoon of crushed or chopped in the jar)
  • 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • Small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup cheap chardonnay (or buy a 4 pack of godawful tiny bottles of Glen Ellen or Gallo, one of them is perfect and you don’t have to open/use a better wine.)
  • I bag sliced mushrooms
  • 1 6-8 oz can sliced black olives
  • Spices- this is totally up to you, and I make it up as I go along, so these measurements are not exact. 1/2 tsp oregano, black pepper, salt. 1 tsp basil, parsley. 1/4 tsp fennel seed (and don’t skip this one, fennel is awesome.) 2 bay leaves, broken in half and dropped in.
  • Some kind of pasta that you like. I hate spaghetti noodles, so I use penne or farfalle or linguine. Whatever.

In a big flat-bottomed pan, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
Brown onions and garlic.
Add meatballs and heat a bit.
Add tomatoes, sauce, paste and wine, stir up together.
Add spices and stir together.
Drain and add black olives, stir.
Let it cook half an hour or so, taste and adjust spices if needed.
Put water on to boil for as much of the pasta as you want to cook; I usually cook the whole pound and use it for another dish after the meatballs and sauce are gone.
When you put the water on to boil, add the mushrooms to the tomato sauce and meatballs, stir every ten minutes or so to cook the mushrooms evenly.
When the water boils, cook the pasta, drain and serve with delicious meatballs over it.

Fresh grated parmesan cheese is awesome over this.