Meatballs are definitely up there on the list of Classic Foods Cooked By American Moms; my mom makes them from time to time and so do the moms of most of my friends (we'll just temporarily forget about the vegetarians, shall we?). It is completely understandable that this is the case. Spaghetti with meatballs is a meal that nourishes, plain and simple. You've got your meat, your carbs, and even some vitamins and minerals in the hot tomato sauce. On a day like today, when I had a couple of handfuls of trail mix for lunch because I was too busy studying for a final to cook, I want a dinner like this one. Just the thought of cooking and eating this dinner is what sustained me through the two-hour exam. When I actually got to go home and make it, it didn't disappoint.
    My mom usually uses ground turkey to make meatballs; I used pork, which worked just fine. The meatballs were tender and flavorful, and the sauce was just right in quantity, taste, and texture.


*makes about 9 meatballs

For the meatballs:
1/2 lb lean ground pork
1 tsp dried oregano
1 egg
2 tbsp skim milk
breadcrumbs from 1 slice of white bread, about 2 tbsp

For the sauce:
2 tbsps olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup water

    In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs: pork, oregano, egg, milk, and breadcrumbs. Stir vigorously with a fork to break the pork up completely and mix the ingredients together. (You can do this in a food processor if you have one). Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place them on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour to help them hold their shape.

    In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil until it spreads out in the pan. Put the meatballs into the hot pan, and brown them on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes over medium heat. If necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, brown the meatballs in two batches. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and put them on a clean plate while you make the sauce. Add the onions to the skillet with another tablespoon of olive oil, and saute for about 10 minutes over medium heat, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, thyme, water, and stir. Put the meatballs into the pan with the sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. In the meantime, cook spaghetti according to the package instructions. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti.