These Abruzzese Italian meatballs in my home made buttery tomato sauce are full of the taste of Italy!
They are easy to prepare and have become a favorite in our house.
Spaghetti recipes are some of my favorite go to meals when I want to give my family a dose of comfort food.
Today we’ll be taking a virtual trip to Italy with a very special recipe using some store bought meatballs and my recipe that takes them to a new level.
Abruzzese Italian Meatballs in a home made buttery tomato sauce
I love this time of the year. My local grocery store has a Taste of Italy in-store event that focuses on authentic Italian flavors and Italian meal preparation.
These amazing meatballs and spaghetti are the perfect way to celebrate this event.
Years ago, my husband and I went on an extended trip to Europe. We visited most of the northern countries, but never made it to Italy.
I have wanted to go back ever since, and love to cook anything that I feel is an approximation of the tastes of the various regions in Italy.
Today’s virtual Italian visit is to Abruzzo, a little known Italian region with a delightful mix of mountains and coastline that is rarely visited by tourists. The dishes of the region are robust and feature simple ingredients that are well flavored with spices, herbs and cheeses. As much as I love the taste of authentic cooking (and the hours that can be spent creating these tastes,) I am also a busy homemaker. My daughter will soon be visiting us, so I don’t have much time for meal preparation this month.
I like taking shortcuts with convenience foods that are full of flavor but made to save the home cook some time in the kitchen.
Today I used some Abruzzese Italian meatballs that are a wonderful blend of Italian cheese and herbs.
I’ll add some fresh tomatoes on the vine, with some home grown oregano and basil to come up with a buttery homemade tomato sauce that compliments these meatballs perfectly. The buttery homemade tomato sauce for these Abruzzese Italian meatballs is drool worthy. One would not think that these few ingredients could come together to make such a delicious dish in such a short time period.
The flavor of the sauce is subtle, but gets loads of flavor from the fresh tomatoes, garlic and home grown herbs.
This dish is truly worthy of Taste of Italy week, but is also perfect for any busy week night. It takes about 30 minutes or so from start to finish to make. I started by baking my meatballs in on a silicone baking mat in the oven.
Cooking them this way requires no extra oil, so this saves calories in the dish. While they are baking, I made the sauce. I used fresh grown tomatoes on the vine. I love the flavor of them and they make a wonderful sauce. I seeded my tomatoes and then chopped them into chunks.
This step takes a bit more time and is not really necessary if you are in a hurry. It just delivers a more chunky sauce, which I like. If you wish, you can leave the seeds and just chop them. Put a pot of salted water on to boil and add your spaghetti to it. It will cook while the meatballs are baking and you are making the buttery tomato sauce. Add some extra virgin olive oil to a non stick frying pan and cook the tomatoes gently for about 20 minutes. When the tomatoes are cooked down and start to look more like a sauce, add in the butter and garlic.
You want your mixture to still be chunky with a silky smooth taste from the butter, but not pureed like a normal sauce might be. This gives the dish a more rustic look that goes along with the idea of Abruzzo cooking. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add them to the sauce. Also add in the fresh minced herbs into the sauce now. Adding them at the end makes sure that they deliver the most flavor to the sauce. When the spaghetti is cooked, add it to the sauce with the meatballs and give it a good swirl. It will coat the strands of the spaghetti with the silky buttery sauce, and will make the whole dish an amazing taste sensation. Spoon the spaghetti into bowls, top with some of the meatballs, a grating of Parmesan Reggiano cheese, and some extra basil.Serve the dish with a tossed salad or some herbed garlic bread. Then sit back, dig in and close your eyes. Perhaps you will see the Gran Sasso Mountains near Abruzzo in Italy if you squint hard enough!
Just imagine sitting on a patio in an Abruzzo villa enjoying this amazing dish! I’m not kidding folks. The flavor of this dish is amazing! It is silky and buttery with a hint of spice from the Abruzzese meatballs. YUM!
You will never want to eat boring spaghetti and meat balls again! Whether you want to make this quick and easy Italian dinner, or an Italian inspired creation of your own, you can be sure that these Carando® Italian Meatballs will help you bring your family to the table with gusto!
- 1 pound of Abruzzese Italian Meatballs
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- 5-6 large tomatoes on the vine, seeded and diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, diced
- 2 teaspoons of fresh oregano, diced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- 8 ounces of spaghetti
- 1 ounce of Parmesan Reggiano cheese to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 375º. Place the meatballs on a silicone baking mat and cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn over and cook for 10-15 minutes more (internal temperature should be 165ºF.)
- While the meatballs are cooking put a pot of water on to boil and add the spaghetti.
- Seed and chop the tomatoes into chunks and place in the pan with the olive oil.
- Cook the tomatoes until they have started to reduce and form a slightly chunky sauce consistently, about 15-20 minutes.
- Continue cooking the tomatoes until you get a nice chunky marinara. and then add the minced garlic and butter. Cook gently.
- Place the cooked meatballs to the sauce and coat well. Add the fresh herbs and mix well.
- Just before serving, stir in the drained spaghetti. Stir well to coat.
- Spoon the spaghetti into serving bowls.
- Top with the cooked meatballs and spoon the remaining sauce over. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, and sprinkle with minced basil.
- Serve with a tossed salad or some crusty garlic bread. Enjoy...Viva Italia!!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 612Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 936mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 24g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.