Friday, February 8, 2008

Meatballs and Sausage in Tomato Bolognese Sauce with Roasted Eggplant, Roasted Garlic, and Mozzarella over Penne

Meatballs in Bolognese Sauce with Roasted Eggplant, Garlic, and Mozzarella over Penne

Some Random Photos of the Prep of this Dish

Okay so here's what you need.

Good Quality Penne Pasta (I like DeCecco if I am buying Dried)

For The Sauce
1 lb sweet or spicy (your call) Italian Sausage (Out of Casings)
1 onion, chopped.
Crushed Garlic, 2 cloves worth.
Crushed Tomatoes (I use Pomi brand. They are strained and in a box, in the tomato aisle)
Red Wine (Personally, I use cabernet sauvignon, I like the spice and full body)
Pepper, Dried Oregano, Dried Basil

For the Meatballs:
1 lb ground chuck
crushed garlic (1 clove)
Grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
Panko Breadcrumbs (1/2 cup)
1 beaten egg
Dried Parsley, Oregano, and Basil
Kosher or Sea Salt and Pepper

1 whole bulb garlic, for roasting.
1 Whole Eggplant, for roasting.
Olive Oil

Mozzarella Cheese (8 ounce block)
Fresh Parsley and/or Basil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350-375 for roasting eggplant.
Slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt, set in colander over sink.
Slice top off of garlic bulb, exposing insides. Set aside.

Set ground chuck in a large bowl. Add garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and seasonings. Add one beaten egg and mix well. Use your hands... it's the best way.
Roll into smallish balls (about 1.5 inches diameter)

Heat large saucepan to medium high.
Put sausage in and allow to brown while breaking up into smallish pieces. Turn to brown both sides.
Add chopped onions. The rendered fat from the sausage should be enough to cook them. Cook until the onions are slightly browned.
Add crushed garlic and stir in.
Push mixture aside in the pot and add half the meatballs. Brown them on each side. Remove the browned meatballs and brown the other half of the meatballs.
Remove the meatballs and evenly spread the sausage and onion mixture over the bottom of the pan.
Top with the browned meatballs.
Add half the bottle of red wine, and allow to simmer down for 10-15 minutes. This is key, the meat needs to absorb the flavor of the wine. There will be liquid left in the pan.
After 10-15 minutes, lower heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes. Stir gently (don't break the meatballs).
Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasonally, for 3-4 hours. (this can go as long as all day on low heat. The longer, the better.) Check the heat often as well, the simmer should be gentle. Tomatoes will burn and scald to the pan easily.
For the last 45 minutes to an hour, uncover the pan and allow sauce to reduce... you may want to use a splatter guard over the pan, since if you don't, your stove will be orangey splattered :)

When you've got an hour left till serving time, remove the Eggplant from the colander and pat dry with paper towels.
Arrange on cookie sheet lined with Aluminum Foil.
Place garlic on cookie sheet.
Sprinkle eggplant and garlic with pepper.
Drizzle Olive Oil lightly over the veggies.
Place in the 350-ish oven for 30-45 minutes. (Until the garlic is soft and the eggplant is golden and soft.)

While the Eggplant and Garlic are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and make Penne. (Or whatever pasta you'd prefer.)
Drain Well.

Remove Eggplant and Garlic from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Cut Mozzarella into 1 inch cubes. Cut eggplant into roughly the same size.

In a large serving bowl, (with room to toss), add pasta. Spoon some of the sauce liquid over it and stir to coat. Add mozzarella and eggplant. To get the garlic out of the 'paper', squeeze it from the bottom. The cloves should 'pop' out. Add them to the pasta. Mix together again, adding sauce liquid as needed. Top with meatballs, enough for 3-4 per person.

Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and basil.

Serve with a green salad with good balsamic vinegar and crusty italian bread and olive oil with salt and pepper or warm, unsalted butter.

And for dessert, of course, homemade from scratch yummy goodness of:

Ricotta Doughnuts (Panzerotti con Ricotta)

Panzerotti con Ricotta (Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts)
I got the recipe Here. And it is as follows:
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Fill emptied 1 pound Ricotta container with flour.

Beat Ricotta, eggs, and vanilla well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoon in hot oil. Deep fry over medium heat until golden brown.
Drain on paper towel. Roll in any kind of sugar - ie. powdered cinnamon or granulated.

(I used a mixture of granulated sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg. Next time, I plan to add freshly grated lemon rind to the mixture...YUM!)


Chad said...

I'm thinking you need to shorten the name of this recipe. How about "Jady's Pasta Delight"?

Jadydangel said...

Yeah, ummm that sounds like something you'd order at a Dennys.

Chad said...

Yes, and Denny's is a fine dining establishment that would bring an upscale feel to your rather pedestrian recipe.

*ducks the meatball you just threw at me*

Jadydangel said...

You better HOPE it's just a meatball.

I cannot believe you just put DENNYS in the same category as FOOD.