Spaghetti & Meatballs with Merlot-Marinara Sauce Recipe 
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Spaghetti & Meatballs with Merlot-Marinara Sauce

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 cup finely chopped onion

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 lb. ground veal

1/2 lb. ground unseasoned pork

1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef

2 eggs

3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1-1/2 cups dry bread crumbs, divided

1 tsp salt, divided

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp dried oregano, crushed

1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup Merlot

4 cups bottled marinara sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 lb. dry spaghetti

Grated Parmesan or Romano for serving

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes just to soften slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the veal, pork, beef, eggs, grated cheese, 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and oregano. Mix well with clean hands to combine. Then roll into golf ball-sized balls.

Combine the remaining 1 cup dry bread crumbs with the Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Place in a large, flat pan. Add meatballs and roll gently to coat. In a large, nonstick skillet set over medium heat, brown meatballs lightly on all sides in 2 batches using about 1-1/2 tablespoons oil per batch. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel-lined plates.

Drain the fat from the pan. Deglaze the pan with the wine, cooking for about 2 minutes. Then add the marinara sauce and sugar, mixing well. Bring to a boil and add the meatballs. Reduce the heat and simmer meatballs 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Turn often. Hold on low heat.

Cook the spaghetti in lots of boiling water according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain spaghetti and put back into the hot pan. Add the meatballs and sauce, tossing the spaghetti gently. Add enough of the hot cooking water to loosen the sauce.

Serve with a bowl of grated cheese on the side.

Makes 8 servings.

Source of Recipe Chef Mark Strausman

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