Easy One Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs

by Susan Reesor

Here’s a tasty meal for a cold winter’s night or a fast dish to take to a potluck meal. The pasta and the meatballs cook in the baking dish in the marinara sauce along with some extra water. It’s delicious and best of all there are hardly any preparation dishes to wash. Do you want to eat more vegetables? Add some chopped, frozen spinach to the tomato sauce. Picky eaters may not even notice it.

Serves 4-6
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

12 ounces spaghetti, broken in half
24 oz. (730 ml) jar of marinara sauce (or make your own quick tomato sauce from a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, pepper)
2 cups water, plus extra hot water as needed
1 pound lean ground beef
¾ cup bread crumbs
⅓ cup prepared basil pesto
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Grease a 9”x13” baking dish. Spread the uncooked, broken spaghetti into the prepared dish.
  2. Using hands, combine beef, bread crumbs, pesto, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl just until combined. Break off and roll mixture into 1-inch meatballs (about 16 meatballs).
  3. Pour marinara sauce and water over pasta and toss gently with tongs to coat.
  4. Nestle the meatballs on top of pasta in dish. Cover the top tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove dish from oven and stir pasta thoroughly, scraping sides and bottom of dish. Return uncovered dish to oven and continue to bake until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. Remove dish from oven. Toss to coat the pasta and meatballs with sauce, adjusting sauce consistency with extra hot water as needed. Let cool for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with grated Parmesan.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

It’s the sides that make the meal

Make your favourite bread stuffing using Reesor’s Pilgrim bread, mash up beautiful white Ontario potatoes, slice up sweet potatoes for a casserole, roast some Ontario squash, or make a fresh cabbage-slaw. Remember to pick up enough of our Ruby Red Cranberry Sauce for Christmas dinner and for turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

Beautiful pork for a beautiful meal

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Chester who makes our delicious smoked pork tenderloin makes a delivery to Ursula one of Reesor’s Market & Bakery deli staff.

If you like smoked pork, bacon, sausages and hams you are in good company with Chester the butcher who is passionate about making a delicious array of smokehouse and deli meats for Reesor’s Market & Bakery.  Chester works at Jo-John Meat Ltd. a small Ontario-inspected meat plant in west Toronto that processes only pork using traditional European recipes for curing, smoking, baking and cooking meats.  Jo-John Meats contain no carrageenan, no flour, and no dairy.

Chester has been interested in butchery ever since he was a boy in Poland visiting his grandfather’s small farm and watching the meat processing done there.  He went to butcher school in Poland and has been making delectable pork products since 1969.   The Jo-John facility has two natural smokehouses using woods such as apple or cherry for a natural smoked taste and they are using traditional spice blends for the various cuts of meat and sausages.

For curing meats they use an industry standard commercial curing mixture providing the correct blend for preserving the meat and prevention of spoilage.  There are no other preservatives or additives in their meats.

Be sure to try their very lean, double smoked bacon or the smoked tenderloin.  The Leek and Pork Meatloaf is wonderful in sandwiches.  If you are in a rush and want a hot meatloaf meal ask the deli clerk for a “steak cut” that you can heat gently at home while you make your own potatoes and veggies.

And what is Chester’s family having for Christmas dinner? A whole, baked, bone-in ham of course.