Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spaghetti + Meatballs

Ever since we got back from our Lake Como trip on Sunday night, we've been in the midst of a Dolomiti snowstorm! Perfect time for spaghetti and meatballs, so I whipped some up on Tuesday night and thought I'd share my recipe.

To make the meatballs, I combine two or three types of ground meat - I use veal and beef because those are my only options in the store! About 3/4 of a pound of each, depending on how many meatballs you want. I usually cook for three because Ryan tends to eat for two.

Anyway. Then you take about a cup of breadcrumbs, two tablespoons of parsley, half a cup of parmesan, and an egg and mix that all together with the meat (and add some salt and pepper and about half a cup of warm water to keep it moist).

Then take your rings off and dig in! I usually make 2 inch meatballs and this time, I ended up with 25, but froze half of them for meatball subs later in the week - not even Ryan can eat 25 meatballs at once. Then I throw them outside on the deck because our fridge isn't big enough for 25 meatballs, and go have a glass of vino rosso down the street.

When I get back, I cook the meatballs and make the sauce. So - a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a non-stick pan, throw the meatballs in there (maybe in batches if you have tons) and cook away. About 10 minutes does it.

Then I make the sauce. Sometimes I go all out and make sauce from scratch and sometimes I only half do. This time I used a jar of tomato sauce that I noticed had been sitting around and taking up space in the fridge for quite some time. I added some ricotta to make it creamier (and more homemade) and some onion, garlic (sorry, Dad), red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and more parsley because I have to buy a whole bag at the store which usually goes bad within three days unless I put parsley in everything that I cook.

Heat that up and add the meatballs to simmer in it while the spaghetti cooks....

.....maybe add a little more parsley........

....and there you have it! We're calling it "Snowstorm Spaghetti + Meatballs".

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to Normal

It's been a whirlwind of Christmas, New Years, visitors, birthdays and today we are finally settling back in to our normal routine. This past weekend, Ryan had a few days off so we took a little birthday trip to Lake Como. We stayed in Bellagio and it was so beautiful, relaxing, and quiet and was the perfect place to unwind after the past 3 weeks.

We went for a long walk, had a picnic by the lake, found the hotel that my parents stayed in 30 years ago during their honeymoon, drank prosecco while watching the sunset, had a delicious local pasta (both nights because it was so good) with sage and cabbage and cheese, played cards and took naps. It was the perfect weekend trip - here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see....

 Our hotel and the view from one of our windows.....the light there was so dreamy.

When we arrived, the woman who ran the hotel gave us a map and told us the only thing to do in January was to go for a long walk. So on Saturday we took the walk on the map, which led us down by the lake, up in the hills and into a few neighboring towns.

We had stopped at a salumeria beforehand and brought a picnic with us, which we ate by the lake....

It was quite cold so we had to go back to the room afterwards to snuggle up under blankets and take a nap, but we woke up to see the sun setting over the lake while having a glass of prosecco.

And then.......since no trip in Italy is complete without a visit to a church, we stopped in Milan on the way home on Sunday to see the Duomo, which was incredible, of course, and have lunch.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Buon Anno!

Happy 2013! We had a great time last night at the Menardi Hotel eating a New Years Eve dinner with all of our friends.....and we are so excited for 2013!