When I was a kid my grandmother used to read me this book called Strega Nona (meaning grandma witch in Italian) where a young man steals Strega Nona’s magic spell to make her pasta pot create pasta instantly and tells the whole town that he has powers. He can’t handle the spell and eventually, the pasta pot creates so much pasta it covers the town. For punishment Strega Nona makes him eat it all. I think the lesson was not to gloat and lie or else. Plus beware your own Italian grandma may be a witch.
Nonetheless, I still adore a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. In this effortless version, you can whip up this tasty dinner in only 30 minutes and in one pot (be careful not to whisper enchanting words). Serve along with some red wine, such as the organic Famlille Nature Cotes Du Rhone pictured below, making this meal under $25.
One Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles
- I 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce, or tomato sauce
- 2-3 cups of vegetable broth or water
- 1 pound lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced,
- 1/2 a sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup ground flax meal (or breadcrumbs)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley plus extra for topping, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
- Himalayan sea salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Heat a deep pot, such as a Dutch Oven while you prepare the meatballs. Combine the ground beef, egg, garlic, onion, flax meal or breadcrumbs, Italian parsley and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and mix to combine with your hands. Form into 1 inch balls. Turn the heat up to medium high on the pot and drizzle in oil. Once hot, add in the meatballs* and let sear for about 3 minutes per side until they are golden and stay in place.
Next, to the pot add in the jar of marinara or tomato sauce, 2 cups of broth or water, dry pasta noodles, more salt and pepper, Herbs de Provence and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, making sure to get all of the noodles into the liquid (just let the first half soften then submerge the remainder) then simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed. If you notice the liquid going quickly, fee free to add half a cup to a cup more. Remove from burner, stir and let rest for ten minutes.
Top with parmesan and more parsley.
*To cook meat evenly place meatballs around the outside of pot in a circle.