Simple “spaghetti” and meatballs, the perfect Italian comfort food with a twist: zucchini sliced into ribbons to replace the pasta. Outstanding on its own but if you’re having a family get-together, or a band of friends charging over, then add in a platter of antipasti and a big crispy salad with garlicky lemon vinaigrette. And wine! Maybe Chianti, Pinot Noir, or a big spicy Zinfandel.
- 1lb ground beef, 80/20
- 1/2lb Sweet Italian sausage
- 1/4c chopped fresh parsley – hold a pinch back to use with the zucchini
- 1/4c chopped ramps – hold a pinch back to use with the zucchini, you can substitute scallion, shallot, or chive for the ramps
- A few pinches of salt
- Several grinds of pepper
- 3c tomato sauce, warmed on the stove
- 3 zucchini, sliced thinly
8×8 baking dish
Oven to 450
Combine ground beef, sausage, parsley, ramps, salt, pepper, and mix by hand until all ingredients are fully combined.
Roll the mixture into round meatballs about 1-1/2” and place into the baking dish. It’s totally cool if they’re touching.
Roast for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and very carefully drain some of the grease that has accumulated in the pan. You don’t have to do this step but I like to.
Pour the heated sauce over the meatballs and return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
While the meatballs are finishing in the oven take a mandolin, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler and thinly slice the zucchini into ribbons. You can quickly steam them but the heat from the sauce and meatballs warms the zucchini up nicely I’ve found, so my preference is raw. Toss with the saved pinches of parsley and ramps.
Remove the meatballs from the oven. Plate the zucchini ribbons and top with the meatballs and sauce.