BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA WITH SPICY SMOKED MOZZARELLA MEATBALLS


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BUCATINI ALL'AMATRICIANA WITH SPICY SMOKED MOZZARELLA MEATBALLS
Oh My God, the title can’t be anymore mouthful than that. As beautiful as the title is, this dish is really good too. This Italian dish by Giada De Laurentiis from her Giada At Home cookbook is one of my favorite pasta dishes. I’ve always enjoyed watching Giada since I knew about Food Network. She is such a beautiful mom with a super cute daughter and a wonderful cook.

Amatriciana is the sauce for this pasta. In her cookbook, she did mention that the Amatriciana sauce is normally made with a bit of wine, however she did it without the wine for a fresher taste. I personally really enjoy the meatballs and how the mozzarella cheese is oozing out from the meatballs when they are baked. It’s a wonderful pasta dish.

BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA WITH SPICY SMOKED MOZZARELLA MEATBALLS (4-6 servings)
 

What you will need:
SAUCE
  • 2 Tbsp olive oi
  • 6 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
MEATBALLS
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ⅔ cup plus ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup Italian-style seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 8 oz ground beef
  • 8 oz ground veal
  • 2 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 16 (1/2-inch) cubes
  • 1 lb bucatini or other long pasta (cook the pasta as directed on package)

Instructions:
  1. COOKING METHOD:
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and set aside
  3. Add the onion to the skillte and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and the cooked pancetta. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in the Pecorino Romano cheese and season with salt and pepper, if needed
  4. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  5. Combine the onion, ½ cup parsley, ⅔ cup parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, garic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add the beef and veal. using your hands, combine the ingredients gently but thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into 16 11/2 inch-diameter meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Make a depression in the center of each meatball and place a cube of mozzarella cheese inside. Re-form the meatball so that the mozzarella is completely covered with the meat mixture. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, or until cooked through
  6. Place the cooked pasta on a serving plate. Add the sauce. Toss gently and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup parsley and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Put the meatballs in a separate bowl and serve alongside the pasta

BUCATINI ALL'AMATRICIANA WITH SPICY SMOKED MOZZARELLA MEATBALLS

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