When I was a kid, every Sunday my parents, brothers and me would load up in the car and go to my grandma’s house for Sunday dinner. The majority of our extended family would be there (aunts, uncles, and cousins) and we’d hang out for hours, eating, talking and having fun. My grandma would make everyone’s favorite dishes (mine was green beans) and if we were the lucky, we’d get to help her cook. Almost all of my memories of my grandma involve her in the kitchen (except that one bingo excursion we took….), as that’s what she loved to do and was good at, and is where my love for cooking comes from.
One thing she taught me was to take short cuts when needed. If she found a product she loved and it tasted as good or better than making it from scratch, she’d use it. I think she perfected the idea of balancing homemade and store-bought ingredients in her meals. I’ve always taken that approach to my cooking and definitely thank her for it!
Normally I’m not a short-order cook (sorry Grandma but that’s now how this mom rolls) but when B asked me if we could have spaghetti and meatballs (not meat sauce), I gave in. I’m a sucker for a meatball, especially an Italian meatball.
Taking Grandma’s approach, I cheated a little, but in a good way. The meatballs where homemade but the sauce was store bought. Yup, I saved time and purchased some Ragu spaghetti sauce to simmer the meatballs in. My grandmother didn’t just teach me how to cook, she taught me how to be efficient in the kitchen too. 🙂
After mixing together all the ingredients, I like to cook my meatballs in the oven. It’s not as messy, I can do other things while they cook, and if you use parchment paper (so they don’t stick to the baking sheet), they still brown up.
My grandmother made all her food with love, much like Assunta Cantisano, the pioneer behind the Ragu brand. It all starts in the kitchen.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- ⅓ cup dried Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 TBS fresh basil, chopped
- 1 TBS fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all the ingredients together with your hands.
- Roll into 2" balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until down throughout.
- Transfer to a 12" pan and add 1 jar spaghetti sauce.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve over the pasta of your choice.
And since it all starts in the kitchen, if you have fabulous recipes that everyone raves about, enter the Food.com contest, Ready. Set. Cook! Using Ragu and a few other ingredients, you could win $3000 as the grand prize winner!