Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Recipes: Lady and The Tramp Dinner Date!

 To celebrate the release of Lady and The Tramp on blu-ray, I thought it might be cute to combine it with a dinner! And of course what would be better than a spaghetti dinner?
    • Lady and the Tramp (Blu-Ray/DVD)
    • a kitchen
    • a date
For Ambiance :
  • Music
  • Checkered red and white table cloth
  • Bread sticks
  • Candle light
Cookware & Kitchen Items:
If you do not cook much, make sure you borrow the following from someone who does:
  • Toothpicks
  • Tongs
  • Medium bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Teaspoon / Tablespoon
  • Measuring Cup
  • Large Skillet
  • Large Pot
  • 3 3/4-inch-thick slices Italian bread with crusts (each 3x5 inches)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 4 spicy Italian sausages, pierced several times with toothpick
  • 1 cup of fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1 pound spaghetti, freshly cooked
First we start with the sauce.Just take it step-by-step.

  • Finely chop up one large onion
  • Mince all 4 large garlic cloves
  • Chop up the 1/4 cup of fresh Italian parsley.
  • Pierce the 4 Italian sausages several times with a toothpick.
All right! Get the heavy large pot out and turn the burner up to medium-high.
  • Pour about 6 tablespoons of olive oil into the pot.
  • Add the 4 spicy Italian sausages, the finely chopped large onion, and the 4 minced garlic cloves into the olive oil.
  • Saute until the onions begin to change color. This should take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the 1 1/2 cans of crushed tomatoes.
  • Mix in the 1/4 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley, the 2 small bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of dried basil, and the 2 teaspoons of dried oregano.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil. Once it has started to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low heat. Cover and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Stir it often throughout the 30 minutes.
  • Add salt & pepper until it tastes good to you.
  • If you want, you can slice the sausages thinly or just leave them until you plate the dish.
  • Try to fish out the bay leaves. They were in the sauce for flavor. You don't want to eat them.

Ok, onto making the meatballs!! You can start making the meatballs while the sauce is sitting for the 30 minutes.

  • Cut three slices of Italian bread. Each slice should be about 3/4 thick and about 3x5. Leave the crusts on.
  • Place the slices in a medium size bowl and cover them with milk just enough milk for the bread to soak up. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the bread is soft. Set this aside. We will call this the 'bread bowl.'
  • Put the pound of ground sirloin into a separate bigger bowl. We will call this bowl the 'meat bowl.'
  • Into the big bowl of meat, mix in 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Pack the cheese into the tablespoon to make sure that you have about 2 tablespoons.
  • Crack one large egg into the meat bowl.
  • Into the meat bowl, mix in 1 tablespoon of the minced fresh Italian parsley, 1 large garlic clove (minced), 1 teaspoon of salt & 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.

  • In the bread bowl, take the bread in your hands and squeeze until almost dry.
  • Take the blob of bread and put it in the meat bowl then mix it into the meat mixture. Throw away the milk in the bread bowl.
Once the bread and the meat mixture are blended together...
  • Take a rounded tablespoon full of the mixture and shape into a meatball. You should be able to make about 24 meatballs.
  • Take the heavy large skillet and put it on the stovetop.
  • Turn the burner to medium heat.
  • Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet.
  • Add the meatballs into the skillet using tongs if you have them. Be careful when you put them in. You don't want the oil to splatter.
  • Saute the meatballs until they are brown and cooked all the way through. Turn the meatballs often being careful not to change their shape. This should take about 15 minutes.
Add meatballs and the drippings from the skillet into the pot of Tomato-Sausage Sauce. Simmer to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.

Right before you're ready to serve, make the pasta.

  • In another pot, fill it up with water.
  • Add salt to the water.
  • Once the water boils, add 1 pound of spaghetti. Make sure all the spaghetti is submerged under the water. Follow the cooking times on the box.
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it in a colander over the sink.
  • Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the sauce.
  • Toss the sauce into the pasta so that the pasta gets coated with the sauce.
  • Top with meatballs and the remaining sauce and serve it with additional Parmesan cheese.
After dinner, sit back and watch Lady and The Tramp. It's cute and romantic! Enjoy!

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