Saturday, my college daughter was home and we wanted to do a little shopping. My husband was home piddling around in the yard. My daughter had requested meatball sandwiches for supper but we really wanted to go shopping at some great thrift stores and she was on the lookout for a warm coat at Bass Pro Shop. I didn't really want to eat out, so I came up with the BEST WAY for making spaghetti sauce (this time, with meatballs) without having to stand at the stove stirring and watching the pot simmer. When we got home, we had such a delicious supper waiting for us in the oven.
It occurred to me that when I cook a roast or other things in the oven, that the gravy will be "juice" when I first start baking it, but the finished product is always thick and rich but I never have to stir it or anything. So, I thought, why not BAKE my spaghetti sauce?
It was perfect. I will probably always cook it this way (when its not blasting hot in summer, that is). I think I will probably even cook my chili this way. I used one of those enamel pots with a lid (like Le Creuset, but mine is a generic one from Sam's), but if you don't have one of those, a casserole dish (covered) would work fine as well.
For our meatballs sandwiches, we toasted some hotdog buns, ladled on the meatballs and sauce, and topped with some grated mozerella! It was a feast!
This is how I made BAKED spaghetti sauce with meatballs AT HOME MY WAY!
First, I should say that I don't really have a recipe for meatballs. I just toss some stuff in there, make little balls, place them on a plate, and microwave them until they're cooked. Then I drop them (along with the cooked crumbled hamburger in my pot) for the sauce. (I prefer both meatballs AND meat in my sauce! LOL).
Baked Spaghetti Sauce (with or without Meatballs)
1 pound uncooked Hamburger
1 egg (blended)
1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup (or less) parmesan cheese (the canned stuff)
3 Tablespoons milk
Mix all of the ingredients together. Form into little balls the size of ping pong balls. Place them on a micro-safe plate. Cover (I used a PAPER plate), and cook approximately 4-5 minutes or until the meatballs are done.
Recipe for the Spaghetti Sauce
1-2 pounds hamburger (If I make meatballs, I use 1 pound for meatballs, and 1 pound for the sauce)
2 teaspoons onion powder or 1/2 fresh onion chopped
salt & pepper
Other spices you need: garlic powder, dried basil, bay leaves
tomato sauce (one 15-oz can)
tomato paste (two-6-oz cans)
sugar (just 1 Tablespoon)
Directions for the sauce: Brown the hamburger (& real onion if using) in a large skillet or pot, stirring often (until onion is clear) and drain (if using onion powder, add after draining).
Sprinkle the cooked meat with:
1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil. Stir.
Then add to the cooked meat in the pot:
1- 15 oz can of tomato sauce + 1 can of water
2- 6oz cans of tomato paste + 3 cans of water for each can (=6 cans water)
On med-high, heat and stir so that the tomato paste blends with the water.
Add spices again: 1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 bay leaves (DO NOT EAT THESE - REMOVE BEFORE SERVING). Use large ones so you can find them when done.)
Drop in your meatballs (if you made some). Heat until this mixture dissolves well (the paste). Cover, and place in the oven, preheated, to 300 degrees for approximately 2 hours.
If not baking, just simmer this on the stove with a cracked lid for about one hour, stirring occasionally.