Thursday, February 21, 2013

DITY Challenge 1

A few days ago, I mentioned a new challenge I created for myself; The DITY Challenge.

Why the sudden challenge? Maybe I'm "nesting" or people are starting to rub off on me but I just feel like DOING stuff. Last night, I decided to start off the challenge by making my hubby a spaghetti dinner with homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs. This is a big deal to me. I'm a soup and grilled cheese sandwhich, kraft dinner, cereal loving, non-cooking wife.

I dislike the kitchen for 2 reasons:
  1. My tastebuds hate me.
  2. I have no idea how to cook.
    Do you know how hard it is to cook when you can't try what you're cooking? Things end up mushy, not seasoned right, or well done. I remember the first time I cooked asparagus. You could tie them in knots. Apparently that's bad.
My husband would add "...And you make a huge mess" to that list. Thanks.

My "spaghetti dinner" was more like rotini noodles with pasta sauce and meatballs.
Close enough.

I followed this recipe from All Recipes. My changes are in pink.

Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Jeremy
Photo By: F18NavyWife
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours
Ready In: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: 6
"Easy but tasty tomato sauce with big meatballs cooks in just about two hours."
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup chopped onion - added a bit more
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled
tomatoes - 1 can diced no salt/1 can crushed
2 teaspoons salt - maybe 0.5 - 1 tsp
1 teaspoon white sugar - a whole lot more
1 bay leaf
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper - none, we're out.
1.In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
I rolled them in flour and gave them a quick fry to seal in the juices. I read it in the review. There was something weird about putting raw meatballs in a sauce for 30 minutes.
2.In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more. Serve.

Now. I can see where I went wrong here.
1. Not enough salt. Apparently, minimizing sodium content doesn't work for all recipes.
2. No pepper. Enough said.
3. I should have used either 2 cans whole tomatoes, 2 cans diced, or 2 cans crushed.

In the end, the sauce was way too acidic so I threw in a bunch of sugar to cut it down. It felt like something was missing but it turned out OK. We've definitely had better but it wasn't bad. In the end, I'm just happy I made something I hadn't made before and that my husband didn't get sick.
If anyone knows of a good spaghetti sauce recipe, let me know!


    Nicely done on the over-acidity recovery. A lot of people wouldn't know what to do to fix that. And I couldn't agree more about the raw meat in the sauce. blech!
    One suggestion I can throw in here...get a bottle of "Italian Seasoning"...I put that sh*t on everything. Ok maybe not everything (i just really wanted to say that), but I always add it to even the pre-prepared tomato sauces. I'm not certain exactly which herbs and spices are in it, but it adds some good flavours.

  2. I have found a lot of great recipes on All Recipes! We make changes to them cause we are a picky eating family :) (We like thicker noodles and usually use the veggie rotini noodles with spaghetti sauce)
    As our family grows and gets busier though we tend to make less home made stuff- like the sauce. We make our own meatballs and add them to our favorite store sauces. (Try bertolli portobello mushroom sauce!)

    I wanted to invite you to our weekly Meet & Greet Blog Hop! It runs Friday nights till the end of Monday, come stop by if you have time this weekend and link up :)

    1. I will have to take your suggestion and try the bertolli portobello mushroom sauce! I think my husband would enjoy that! I will have to check out the blog hop for next week! :)

  3. This looks yummy. I usually put in some brown sugar at the end just before the sauce is ready to take down the acidity.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. New follower :)


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