Meatballs and Rigatoni

I got this recipe from Gary's sister's blog. I've had them at her house before...they were fabulous and when I made them myself the other day, they were just as wonderful as I remember them being when SHE made them. So it's possible!

Meatballs with Rigatoni
2 slices white bread, remove crusts, cut in small pieces
1/4 C. milk
1 Pound ground Pork
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
3 small garlic cloves, minced
zest of 1/2 lemon
8 sprigs of fresh flat-leif parsley (italian parsley), chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 lb. rigatoni noodles
Red Hot Tomato Sauce (see recipe below)
Parmesan Cheese to serve on top.

1. Place bread in a bowl; pour milk over it. In another bowl, mix port, onion, garlic, zest, and parsley. Add salt and pepper (Mix with hands). Mash bread mixture to form paste; add to meat mixture. Mix; add egg. Combine Well.
2. Heat oven to 350. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. To form the balls I used a cookie scoop (looks like a small ice cream scoop)
3. Brown Meatballs (on stove) and then transfer to a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.
4. Cook Red Hot Tomato Sauce
5. Cook Rigatoni
6. Serve. Layer Noodles, sauce, meatballs, parmesan cheese. I served with garlic bread, and green salad. If I had some frozen veggies, it would have been on the table too!

Liz mentioned that she makes more than one batch and then freezes the meatballs and also the extra sauce for a quick meal on another day. I took her advice and just doubled it...same amount of work anyhow, might as well. They are in the freezer calling my name today actually! She also BEGS (and after making it myself, I do too) that you do NOT skimp on the sauce. MAKE THE SAUCE! Store bought sauce will just not do the meatballs justice. The sauce is fabulous...I really liked it a lot!

Red Hot Tomato Sauce
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. cab crushed tomatoes
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 Tbs. basil (I'm sure fresh would be fabulous in this, but I just used dried)

1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, stirring so that it does not brown, until soft and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring another minute.
2. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid. Season with salt, pepper, and red-pepper flakes. Add 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened and has a deep, rich tomato flavor, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil just before serving.

(Don't you worry, Picture to come!)

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