Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meatballs are easily cooked in the combination microwave-convection setting. Lining bottom of baking pan with paper towels eliminates spatters and messy-pan cleanup. Make extra meatballs and freeze. The sauce can be simmered anytime and then refrigerated or frozen for easy combination with meatballs and spaghetti. The microwave pasta cooker makes easy preparation of the spaghetti.

1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14-oz. cans) diced or crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine or water
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
Salt to taste

1 cup cubed day-old bread
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


To prepare sauce:
1. Combine onion and olive oil in medium skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; continue cooking about 1 minute. Add undrained tomatoes, wine, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to boil; cook and stir occasionally over medium heat about 45 minutes or until well blended and thickened. If necessary add a little extra water for desired consistency. Remove bay leaf. Crush any tomato pieces as needed. Stir in basil; add salt to taste. Keep warm or refrigerate or freeze until needed.
About 5 Cups Sauce

To prepare Meatballs:
1. Preheat microwave-convection or regular oven to 375 degrees. Stir together bread and water in mixing bowl; let stand about 5 minutes or until bread is soft. Mix in egg with fork. Crumble ground beef and sausage into bread mixture. Add garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well, using hands as necessary until thoroughly combined. Line silicone or glass 9-inch round or square baking dish with paper toweling. Shape meat mixture into about 16 meatballs, rolling with moistened hands and placing them in baking dish.

2. COMBO-ROAST on low rack with 30% microwave power and 375 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. (Or, bake in regular oven for 23 to 25 minutes.) Carefully remove paper toweling and discard. If necessary wipe dish with additional toweling. Sauce can be added to meatballs for serving, or add meatballs and sauce separately to cooked spaghetti.
16 Meatballs

To Serve:
Prepare desired amount of spaghetti. Drain; place on serving plate. Add desired amount of meatballs; top with sauce; sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil.

About 8 Servings

TIPS > One 28-oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes can be used.
> About 1 teaspoon dried basil can be substituted for fresh. Add about 5 minutes before end of simmer time. Fresh is best added at end of cooking time.
> Save leftover wine in a small bottle for uses such as this.
> Extra cooked meatballs can be frozen individually on waxed paper and then placed in freezer bag until ready to use. Package any extra sauce in freezer containers and keep frozen to serve with meatballs.