Whip up classic comfort food: spaghetti and meatballs

Tribune News ServiceYou can use a food processor to combine the ingredients for meatballs, but be careful not to make them too compact.

Tasty meatballs in a rich pasta sauce are an American favorite.

The meatballs in this recipe are made with bread soaked in water and squeezed dry. This makes them very light and fluffy.

The meatballs taste even better the second day. If you have time, make extra and serve them for another quick dinner.

Complete the meal with a washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad.

SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

Servings: 2

2 slices whole-wheat bread

1/2 pound lean ground sirloin

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

8 fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)

1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

2 tablespoons raisins

1 large egg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup reduced-sodium pasta sauce

1/4 pound spaghetti

Soak the bread in 1 cup water until soft. Combine the sirloin, garlic, sage, onion, raisins and egg in a bowl or food processor.

Remove bread from water, and squeeze out excess water. Blend into meat mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 balls about 21/2 inches in diameter.

Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Mix the pasta sauce with 3/4 cup water. Lower the heat to medium, and add the sauce. Simmer gently 10 minutes, carefully turning the meatballs once with a flat spatula.

While meatballs simmer, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add the spaghetti, and cook 9 minutes or according to package instructions.

Drain, and divide between 2 dinner plates. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti.

Nutrition information per serving: 630 calories (26% from fat); 18.3 g fat (4.8 g saturated, 7.1 g monounsaturated); 167 mg cholesterol; 39.1 g protein; 74.6 g carbohydrates; 6.7 g fiber; 212 mg sodium.

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