Spaghetti & Meatballs with Romaine Salad & Oregano Dressing

Spaghetti & Meatballs

with Romaine Salad & Oregano Dressing

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

It's spaghetti and meatball night, chefs! We’re keeping this classic simple with a two-ingredient tomato sauce and garlicky,
cheesy meatballs. (Making all your meatballs the same size ensures that they finish
cooking at the same time.) Dried oregano, with its concentrated savory, herbal flavor, elevates the dressing for our side salad of romaine and cucumber.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    780 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; roughly chop the leaves. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds.

Make the sauce:
2 Make the sauce:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes and 1 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and saucy. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Form the meatballs:
3 Form the meatballs:

While the sauce cooks, in a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, remaining garlic, and half the cheese; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 18 to 20 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Cook & finish the meatballs:
4 Cook & finish the meatballs:

In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate. Carefully drain off and discard any drippings from the pan. Return the browned meatballs and sauce to the pan. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook & finish the spaghetti:
5 Cook & finish the spaghetti:

Once the meatballs have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1 cup of the spaghetti cooking water, drain thoroughly. Transfer to the pan of finished meatballs and sauce. Add half the reserved spaghetti cooking water and cook on low, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or the spaghetti is until thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the spaghetti cooks, to make the dressing, in a bowl, combine the vinegar and dried oregano. Slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the romaine and cucumber. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing); toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Transfer the finished spaghetti and meatballs to a separate serving dish. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Serve with the salad. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; roughly chop the leaves. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds.

2 Make the sauce:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes and 1 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and saucy. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Make the sauce:
Form the meatballs:
3 Form the meatballs:

While the sauce cooks, in a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, remaining garlic, and half the cheese; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 18 to 20 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

4 Cook & finish the meatballs:

In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate. Carefully drain off and discard any drippings from the pan. Return the browned meatballs and sauce to the pan. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook & finish the meatballs:
5 Cook & finish the spaghetti:

Once the meatballs have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1 cup of the spaghetti cooking water, drain thoroughly. Transfer to the pan of finished meatballs and sauce. Add half the reserved spaghetti cooking water and cook on low, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or the spaghetti is until thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the spaghetti cooks, to make the dressing, in a bowl, combine the vinegar and dried oregano. Slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the romaine and cucumber. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing); toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Transfer the finished spaghetti and meatballs to a separate serving dish. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Serve with the salad. Enjoy!

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