Tomato basil sauce in the pot and Merry* serving the sauce with meatballs over spaghetti
We recently held a self-guided ranch tour and open barn at the ranch to give people an opportunity to see some of the projects we have completed and that are in the process. I wanted to showcase my grassfed beef, so I made an easy and delicious tomato basil sauce with ingredients from my garden to complement the meatballs. I made plain spaghetti pasta with the meatballs and sauce served on top of the pasta. The meatballs were a hit, even with the young picky eaters. The Rancho Milagro olive oil listed in the recipe comes from the ranch next door and you can purchase it on-line or schedule a ranch tour and purchase it in person. Google them. Their olive orchards are some welcome green in the hills during the dry, hot summer.
Tomato Basil Sauce with Circle H Grassfed Beef Meatballs
- 5 large tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Rancho Milagro olive oil
- 3-5 garlic cloves (depending on garlic preference!), pressed or small dice
- 1 cup chopped basil leaves
- Kosher salt to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 pound dry spaghetti noodles
- Boil tomatoes for one minute and then peel, seed, and chop them. Mix tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes together and let the mixture sit for two hours.
- Prepare the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
- When spaghetti is done, toss it with the cold tomato mixture.
- For the ranch tour I heated the sauce and stewed the meatballs in it for the day.
Circle H Grassfed Beef Meatballs
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, 1/4-inch dice
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 pound Circle H ground beef
- 1/2 pound Circle H ground Italian beef sausage (hot if you prefer)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large cast iron skillet with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool, can be placed in fridge or freezer to speed up the process. In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley, bread crumbs, onion mixture and water. The mixture should be quite wet. Shape the meat into desired size. I used an ice cream scoop. Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to your big pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, they can be frozen for later use. Serve with Tomato Basil Sauce over pasta.
*Photo credit Andy Halversen