On Top of Spaghetti…

Men, pay attention.  Ladies, I’m going to ask you to walk away.  Go ahead, it’s alright.  There’s got to be something that can keep you occupied for a few minutes.  They’re in good hands.  Just trust me.

Okay guys, are they gone?  No?  Okay I’ll wait…

Now?  Good, read on.

I stopped at the grocery on my way home the other night to pick up a few things to make pizza (from my previous post) and a young guy, probably in his early 20s, stopped me to ask if I could give him a few tips.  His girlfriend was having a rough day at work and he wanted to surprise her with dinner and flowers.  He figured by looking at the items in my cart (lobster tails, goat cheese, San Marzano tomatoes) that I’d be able to guide him in the right direction.  On his menu: spaghetti and meatballs.

Want a quick, easy way to impress your wife/girlfriend/that girl you see at the coffee shop but can’t get up the nerve to ask out?  Take a page out of this kid’s book and make her dinner.

What?!  Am I crazy?!  Isn’t it easier to just make a reservation?!  Well sure, but wouldn’t it mean more for your lady to come home to a romantic dinner than fight the crowd at that trendy new restaurant where you spend way too much money on a meal that just leaves you hungry and swinging through a drive-thru on the way home?  Add to that the stress of choosing the right outfit (and the resulting tornado of discarded items), the whining about our painfully sexy heels, the cloud of smelly beauty products that will follow us like Pigpen’s dust cloud and the hours and hours you will have to wait on us to get ready.  Oh and if you’re a family man don’t forget that you have to find a sitter, yikes!

Sounds like fun, huh?  Unless she’s a foodie and has a list of star chef’s restaurants and has bookmarked every website, menu and blog known to culinary man (wow, I just described myself) save it for her next birthday, your anniversary or to celebrate that big promotion.  She will thank you for letting her throw her hair up in a ponytail, don that worn out, oversized rock t-shirt from college and sit back with a glass of wine and relax.  And if y’all are anything like my husband you will think that’s just as sexy as as the glammed-up, shellacked version of ourselves that takes so long to create anyway.

Now, I know spaghetti and homemade meatballs sounds a little daunting but I’m going to give you a quick and easy recipe that would knock the socks right off Lady and the Tramp!  Add a tossed salad, garlic bread and a bottle of vino and you’re golden!

Spaghetti & Meatballs

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced fine
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (2lb.) jar herb and garlic marinara sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Thin spaghetti

Optional: garlic bread (from grocery bakery or frozen section), bagged salad, bottle of wine

Directions:

Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat to boil.

(If you are adding garlic bread to your meal, preheat oven according to package directions.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, cheese, yellow onion, parsley, egg and 4 tablespoons marinara sauce.

Form mixture into about 16 golf ball sized meatballs.

Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Arrange meatballs in a single layer and cook cook about 2 minutes until brown and crisp on one side.  Carefully turn over with a spatula and cook 3-4 more minutes.  Add the remaining marinara sauce to the pan to cover meatballs.  Cover pan and reduce heat to medium.  Let meatballs simmer for 12 minutes, stirring gently about 5 minutes through cooking time.

(If you are adding garlic bread to your meal this would be a good time to put it in the oven.)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

(While pasta is cooking, prepare salad.)

Drain pasta and portion on to plates or bowls.  Top with three meatballs, a little extra sauce and lots of parmesan cheese.

That wasn’t so hard, was it?  You just scored MAJOR brownie points, believe me!  Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Well done men!

Mangia! Mangia!

Need dessert?  A store-bought pound cake with fresh berries and whipped cream is an easy, elegant end to the perfect date night.

And flowers!  Don’t forget the flowers!

Ladies, I know you read this even though I told you not to.  You’re welcome.  Oh and while you’re at it, be sure to give your man a nice big thank you!  😉

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