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Spaghetti and Meatballs for a Crowd


There's nothing better than a delicious sauce poured over meatballs and spaghetti

It's very hard to beat spaghetti and meatballs for a dish that pleases everyone. You'll need a day to make it, but when it is served up, you'll see why. The sauce and meatballs can also be made ahead of time and frozen. Then, all that's left is to cook the spaghetti and warm the bread.

Because it is a time consuming recipe, I always recommend making up a large batch, even if you're not feeding a crowd. Then you can freeze it in serving-size portions for anytime.

Sauce (1 gallon)

1 gallon water
32 ounces tomato paste
3 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes with liquid (or 6 fresh Roma tomatoes, blanched and skinned)
8 ounces olive oil
1 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons ground pepper
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup fresh parsley chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic

In a large (nonreactive) pot, add olive oil, onions, celery, garlic, and peppers. Simmer to tenderize vegetables. Add remaining ingredients (excluding parsley) and continue simmering over low-to-medium heat for about six hours. Stir often. Add fresh parsley in the last few minutes or use a garnish if desired.

Meatballs (approximately 40)

3 pounds lean ground beef
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground veal
2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 eggs
1 cup finely ground crackers (or meal)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll in small balls. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place meatballs on foil-lined cookie sheet and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees and check for doneness.

Note: you can also use all ground beef instead of mixing in the pork and veal.

Prepare about 2 ounces of spaghetti per person, but add more for hearty appetites or if you don't plan on serving salad. Also, have plenty of French bread or crusty baguettes on hand. These are very filling and the perfect complement to a spaghetti and meatball dinner. Don't forget the parmesan!

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