Saturday, September 6, 2014

That's a nice-a meatball!

Whew! This has been a rough week.  My computer died HARD on Wednesday, and I lost all the pictures and recipes stored on my hard drive.  Ouch.  My car is in the shop and I need work on the transmission.  We're going through a re-accreditation process at my office, and my boss has been insane from the stress.  And last night, I finally crashed from the stress.  So, sorry you didn't get a post yesterday.

This is what I needed to help me recover:

A big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs!  It's carb-tastic!  Well, of course we couldn't do a tribute to Disney movies and the food they inspire without visiting Lady and The Tramp!  Another classic, with animal issues at the heart of it!  What do we do about the stray population?  Well, spay and neuter, obviously.  But not in this movie! Tramp needs to learn about safe sex.

Hey, baby.  How you doin'?
Actually, there are a couple of other Disney movies that come to my mind when I think about Italian dinners.  Who could forget the classic "Let's Get Together" song and attempt to re-unite their estranged parents by recreating a romantic dinner at an Italian restaurant in The Parent Trap?
Breadsticks and wine jugs = Italian restaurant in Disney speak.
And if you haven't checked out Meet the Robinsons, I would recommend it for a light evening's entertainment.  This was a real sleeper, but it's actually pretty funny.  There's a meatball battle!

I offer you two recipes today in honor of these movies:  My Dad's Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Knots.  I hope you have a romantic Italian dinner soon, or at least a meatball battle!

Dad's Spaghetti Sauce
My dad has a special dutch oven that's sole function is the making of this sauce.  I remember Dad cooking this all day on the stovetop. Occasionally he would go into the kitchen to stir it, and would start dancing, singing, and snapping his fingers.  This sauce will make you happy, too.

2 T. to 1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup wine, preferably red
3 - 28 oz. cans peeled, crushed tomatoes (NO SKIN!)
1 small can tomato paste
salt and pepper
3 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil

Heat the olive oil in the dutch oven over medium-low to medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute for about one minute, until fragrant.  Pour in the wine, then stir in the remaining ingredients.  Simmer the sauce on the stove all day, stirring every once in a while.  You may want to turn it off for a while, and then turn it on again to heat before serving.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  Serve with spaghetti, meatballs, Italian sausages, and parmezan cheese.

Oh Trader Joe's.  How I love thee.

Check out our Disney pasta set!

This stuff is tasty.  But I always see vegan cheeses advertised online and think they're going to be a lot bigger than what I actually get in the mail.  Does this happen to other people too? 
Garlic Knots

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. instant mashed potato flakes
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (or just dried basil)

Combine the above in a large bowl. Mix it together well, or the potato flakes will clump up when you add the liquid ingredients:

2 T. olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm almond milk (unsweetened)

Mix together until it forms a rough ball, then knead for 5-10 minutes until a smooth dough forms.  You may need to add more flour as you knead.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  To shape the dough, cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a 10" rope, and then tie into a knot.  Place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Cover and let rise about 45 minutes to an hour until very puffy looking.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 15-18 minutes, or until just very lightly browned.  Remove and brush or drizzle with the following glaze:

2-4 cloves minced garlic
2 T. olive oil or 2 T. melted Earth Balance
1 T. finely chopped parsley

Shaped and ready to rise
Bonus!  Recovered this picture of my daughter and her spaghetti-face at age two.  Woot!


  1. I love those TJ meatballs too. So good and easy.

  2. Yay, Lady and the Tramp! Those garlic knots look so, so good! :)

  3. I've been eating way too many vegan meatballs lateley, but like you some days that is what you need, sorry that you lost pictures when the computer clogged up.