Special thanks to Lagostina for generously providing the Lagostina Opera Stainless Steel 10-piece Cookware Set for this post to review, however all opinions as usual are my own.
We are full fledged in the heart of the Christmas season. Can you believe Christmas is in three days? We’ve been doing all the things these past few weeks including Christmas shopping, gingerbread house decorating, holiday baking, and of course… Christmas movie watching! I was inspired recently by the movie Elf to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Why? Because it’s not traditional or anything I’d typically think of eating this time of year and to be honest, that seemed refreshing! I will say, I wouldn’t opt for the maple syrup like Buddy the Elf does in the movie because, well, that’s just taking it a step too far (but I had to try right?).
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for all things kitchen related. I was thrilled to receive a Lagostina Opera Stainless Steel 10-piece Cookeare Set to add to my kitchen favorites. I couldn’t think of a better way to break them in than with a delicious meal to bring together those that I love. There’s nothing better than having meaningful (electronic-free) conversations at the dinner table enjoying good food.
For my husband and I, a very important aspect of enjoying good food is knowing that it was prepared using pots, pans, and utensils that are as clean as the ingredients being cooked. After all, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to go out of the way to buy wholesome and natural ingredients, only to expose those ingredients to surfaces that can potentially “leach” less than healthful substances into the meal.
Because of how seriously we take this aspect of kitchen life, we got rid of all of our nonstick cookware (in addition to eliminating plastics and chemical filled cleaning products), so the Lagostina set was right up our alley with its stainless steel exterior. The pots and pans are so well polished that food slid right out with any need for a standard non-stick finish – awesome!
Another thing that I really like about the Lagostina set is that the pots and pans have a thick 3-layer “LagoFusion” base, which encapsulates a layer of aluminum – which is an excellent conductor of heat. It does a great job of ensuring that the heat is evenly distributed amongst the entire bottom of the pot or pan, rather than being solely concentrated in the center. I’ve found that this makes a real-world difference and reduces the likelihood of burning the center portion of your food, while the outer edges remain undercooked. Quality construction does make a difference, and not all pots and pans are created equal! Plus, the fact that Lagostina pots and pans are made in Italy might have made my spaghetti extra happy, just sayin’. :)
Speaking of the spaghetti, you won’t believe how wonderful your kitchen will smell as you prepare this simple and yet elegant meal. The rich aromas of simmering tomato sauce and fresh cut basil are almost as rewarding as taking the first bite of this dish. I hope you enjoy it and build warm and endearing memories around the table this Holiday season!
Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 1/2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes peeled, quartered, and hard core removed
- 1 6 oz. cans tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 large pinch salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 c. ricotta
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- 1/4 c. fresh chopped basil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 c. fresh grated parmesan
- 1/4 c. fresh chopped basil
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot and just starting to smoke, add onions and saute for about 4-6 minutes; stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue to cook an additional minute longer to release the garlic oils.
Wash tomatoes thoroughly. Cut into quarters or even smaller pieces if you are using large tomatoes. Remove the hard center top core. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the spices, stir, and cook for 1-2 hours. Keep lid on for the entire cooking time.
After 1-2 hours, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. If you do not have a hand blender you can puree small batches in a blender or food processor. Salt or pepper additionally if needed. Be careful to not over salt as this sauce will most likely be used to season already salted food. Simmer uncovered until the desired thickness.
Preheat oven to 375. Heat pot over medium-heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide ground beef mixture into about 12 uniform meatballs.
Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Cover with spaghetti sauce. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until done and have reached a temperature of 165. Garnish with grated parmesan and basil.
Serve meatballs and sauce over cooked spaghetti noodles.