Spaghetti and Meatballs with Italian Sausage

1312910790.192956_large

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread crusts removed and discarded, bread torn into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage casing removed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. spaghetti

Directions

  1. For the meatballs: With the oven rack in the middle position, heat the oven 425 degrees. Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl and mash with a fork until a paste forms. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture into 18 meatballs, approximately 1 ½-inches each. Transfer meatballs to wire rack inserted into a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until meatballs release their fat and are just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  2. For the sauce and pasta: Combine the tomatoes, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper flakes in a large saucepan. Add the meatballs and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has picked up their flavor, about 15 minutes. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, and serve with meatballs and sauce.