Last week was much more subdued than the two previous weeks, and it was a more than needed break. All week I looked forward to the weekend so I could do...absolutely nothing! This week is going to be another crazy one, with a work conference out of town for four days, so it was nice to make some quick, easy meals and to get a little shopping in too. Don't let me fool you though...I hate shopping for clothes. I might be the only woman alive to admit to that...but I dread it. I managed to survive though, and here I am to share a quick, easy meal with you all on this sunny Monday morning.
When I first saw this recipe on Sarah's blog, it looked too good not to try. Now, normally I'm not much of a spaghetti or marinara fan, but I decided to give it a whirl. I made it on a Friday night, and it was simple enough that I could watch TV and just check on it every few minutes. Easy peasy. I did find that the time for the spaghetti to cook didn't work for me, I had to cook mine an extra 5 minutes. But, that may be due to a crappy apartment stove! I say check it after the last 5 minutes and cook longer if needed. This is definitely a good meal for a weeknight, and it was delicious!
Combine meat, panko, egg, half the garlic, Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper in a bowl and knead gently until combined. Form meat into 48 meatballs, about 1-inch around. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up the meat.
Heat oil in a large, 12-inch non-stick skillet with high sides over medium heat until just smoking. Cook meatballs until well browned all over, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from the skillet.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the now-empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, water, pasta, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until pasta begins to soften, about 7 minutes.
Return meatballs to the skillet and simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through and pasta is al dente, 5-10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil. Serve with grated cheese.