Friday, August 30, 2013

Watermelon Gazpacho

Last Year's Post: Char Siu Chicken with Chinese Long Beans

I realize it's nearly the end of summer, but it's still hot and it feels like the middle of summer so why not keep the summer theme going?  It's way too early to switch to heavier fall foods anyway.  In that spirit, I was motivated to make a Watermelon Gazpacho after a recent trip to Washington State with our Gourmet Club buddies.  At one dinner, half of the 6 people ordered watermelon gazpacho as a starter.  To a person, their first reaction was "whoa!" after one spoonful because it was quite spicy which had not been mentioned on the menu (sneaky chef trick).  Everyone really liked it, especially The Lawyer, so one of my first projects after coming home was to replicate the soup.

I initially thought this recipe looked really fast and easy because how hard can it be to cut up a few things and throw them in a blender?  The reality turned out to be slightly different.  First I had to figure out how to cut up a whole watermelon.  I finally decided to cut it in half, cut each half into slices, cut the rind off each slice, and then cut the flesh into cubes.  I discovered that a smallish watermelon is more than adequate to make 8 cups of watermelon cubes.

The second issue was that I decided to use my blender (instead of a food processor) and it took four different batches to get all the ingredients pureed.  Again not a big deal, but I hadn't really thought that part through.  I would suggest using whatever appliance you have with the largest capacity, but don't fill it completely full or it won't work properly.

The final decision requiring extra time was that I decided to strain the soup to make it clear and pretty like the restaurant version.  You certainly don't have to do this - you'll actually have more soup if you leave the pureed flesh in - but I was going for pretty.  In addition, I wanted to illustrate the idea that if you strain the soup you can actually use it as a very tasty cocktail with the addition of a little vodka.  To strain it, you pour it through a fine mesh strainer and push on the pulp with a spatula or spoon to work it through faster.  Again, I used a fairly small strainer so this had to be repeated quite a few times to get it all through.

I don't want to make this sound like a really huge deal - it probably took maybe half an hour - but it was hot in the kitchen and I had expected it was going to take maybe 5 minutes. (After re-reading that last part it really sounds like whining.  I'll stop.) It's all about managing expectations.  The good news is that you can prepare it early in the day since it needs to chill before serving.

The gazpacho makes an excellent cold starter for dinner, a great lunch with a sandwich or salad on the side, or a really outstanding and different cocktail as I mentioned. This recipe is not sweet, but if you want to make it sweeter you could add a little honey in addition to or in place of the vinegar.  You can also vary the amount of heat by adding more or less jalapeno, or none at all.  The version we had in the restaurant was somewhat sweet and quite spicy, which was a really interesting combination.  However you adjust the recipe, the watermelon and cucumber combination will be very refreshing.

Watermelon Gazpacho
Watermelon Gazpacho
Serves 4-6

Note: I used one jalapeno without seeds and it had a very low spice level.

8 cups watermelon, seeds removed
1 ½ cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Lime slices, for garnish (optional)
Mint for garnish (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor in batches (no more than half full) and puree.  If desired, pour the soup through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids with a spatula or spoon to extract the maximum amount of liquid (again, you’ll need to do this in several batches).  Serve chilled or at room temperature, garnished with lime or mint (optional).

*Add as much jalapeno as you like, depending on your spice preference and the spiciness of your pepper. If you want extra spice, you can also add the seeds, which are more potent than the green flesh of the pepper.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pinchos Morunos

Last Year's Post: Gazpacho
Two Years Ago:  Pork with Thai Peanut Sauce

Color is Important
I grew up in an era where mothers regarded cooking as a necessity and their primary goal was to get food on the table that their family would eat.  Much of that food was beige.  Presentation and garnish were not concepts most moms thought about.  But times have changed, and cooking is now a conscious choice rather than a necessity since there are so many prepared foods and casual restaurants that are available.  There are many reasons to make the choice to cook - including good health, nutrition, dietary needs, or just plain fun - but as long as you made the effort to cook your food, why not make it look pretty?

Color plays a big part in making food pretty, which is why I chose multi-colored mini-peppers for this dish.  I could have used one big red pepper which would have added some color, but the multi-colored peppers are even better.

I've posted recipes in the past that were relatively colorless (Italian Sausage and Wild Mushroom Risotto ) because they are just that good, but it's a lot more impressive when they have all kinds of vibrant colors ( Seafood Cobb Salad ).  In particular, meat tends to be fairly brown so think about livening it up with a colorful sauce, relish, or accompanying vegetables.  Even a fresh parsley garnish on top of soup or rice helps to add color.  I once read about a chef who said he garnishes every meal he makes even if it's just for himself alone, because he felt it made that much difference to the overall eating experience.

Pinchos Morunos is Spanish in origin and is commonly found in tapas bars.  This particular recipe version converts it into a main dish by adding onion and peppers, but the pork by itself on small skewers would be a classic addition to a tapas party served with just a drizzle of lemon olive oil.  What makes it Spanish is the combination of spices on the pork, in particular the saffron.  I love the distinctive taste of saffron.  The pork is spiced but not very spicy in terms of heat, and it's what makes this dish special.  The spice mix colors the pork as it marinates before grilling.

I decided to halve the small peppers so they would fit better on the skewers plus it made them easier to seed, but I decided to leave the stems on for presentation and color.

I think I've mentioned somewhere previously that it's a good idea to separate your meats and vegetables on different skewers because they have different cook times.  If you alternate everything on each skewer your cook times become a compromise between ingredients, although for some reason that's the way skewers are most often shown.  In this case the meat was going to cook faster than the vegetables but the peppers and onions needed about the same amount of time.

One last note - although the recipe calls for marinating the meat for a few hours, it's very flexible.  I've grilled it without any marinating time at all, or you could let it marinate overnight so don't let that stop you from using this as a weeknight meal.  Served with rice or couscous, it's a fast, delicious and very healthy meal.

printable recipe
Pinchos Morunos
Serves 4

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1” cubes
1 red onion, cut into 6 wedges
8 multi-colored mini-peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
8 (12”) wooden skewers
Cooking spray

Combine the first 10 ingredients in a zip top bag and toss to distribute spices.  Add the pork tenderloin cubes and toss to coat evenly.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Soak skewers in a water for 30 minutes prior to grilling to prevent burning.

Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium heat. 

Separate each onion wedge into two pieces.  Thread meat pieces on four skewers; alternate onion and pepper pieces on the other four.

Grill over medium heat for 5 minutes per side for the meat, and 6 minutes per side for the vegetables, flipping once.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ravioli with Peas, Bacon and Lemon Oil

Last Year's Post: Summer Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna

Pet peeve #352:  thick-cut bacon.  Why all of a sudden is thick-cut bacon the hot trend?  You can hardly find regular bacon any more.  I was watching TV the other day and no less than celebrity chef Ina Garten was gushing about her thick-cut bacon adding a nice chew to her salad.  I don't know about you, but any time "chewy" and "meat" are in the same sentence I don't think that's a good thing.  I can't think of a single meat where "chewy" is the desired texture, particularly bacon. To add insult to injury, we were having breakfast at a new restaurant this weekend and the server asked me if I wanted my bacon crispy.  Yay, someone gets it!   In retrospect I should have known that if they have to ask, something is wrong.   I received a slab of bacon that was at least 1/2" thick and fried until it should no longer be called bacon.  Pork jerky or shoe leather would better describe the looks and taste.  After one or two bites I quit because I was afraid I was going to crack a tooth.  Moral of the story - bacon should thin and crisp, period.  OK, end of rant.  I feel better now.

Anyway, I like to try recipes that contain either an ingredient or a technique that's new to me, partly to expand my horizons but mostly just because I have an incurable curiosity streak.  This recipe contains a new ingredient that also involves a new technique:  lemon-infused olive oil.  While it's true that you can buy any number of olive oils infused with various flavors, there are several compelling reasons to make your own.  First, it will be much fresher.  Second, you can customize it to your taste.  And third, infused oils are very expensive to buy.  A bottle of infused oil will probably run somewhere around $10 if it's decent quality.  Using my Costco extra-virgin olive oil and one lemon, I made a cup of lemon oil for slightly over $1.  Not bad.

One thing you need to know is that you should start one day in advance because the oil needs to steep for 24 hours.  The other thing you should know is that it's important to remove the rinds after 24 hours and store the oil in your refrigerator for food safety reasons.  I once made a big batch of garlic oil and stored it in my pantry, only to read several weeks later that botulism can develop under those conditions.  I was sad to throw the entire batch out but happy that I hadn't tried it in the meantime.

The infused oil is very easy to make.  Remove the outer rind (no pith) of a lemon with a vegetable peeler,  then warm the olive oil and rind over low heat for ten minutes.  Cool and place the rind and oil in a clean glass covered container in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Remove and strain out the rinds, then place the oil back in the container.  Kept refrigerated, the oil will keep for up to a month.

The lemon oil serves as the sauce for this easy and quick pasta dish.  You might not normally associate crunch with pasta, but there is definitely a crunch factor here from the (crisp!) bacon and the toasted pepitas.  If you can't find pepitas, toasted chopped walnuts would be equally good.

You'll have lemon oil left over after you make this dish, so here are some ideas for how to use it.
  • Drizzled over cooked vegetables
  • Salad dressings
  • Over any cooked or grilled fish
  • As a dipping sauce for bread (add any fresh or dried herbs you like)
  • Drizzled on top of hummus 
  • In cold pasta salads
This dish is very light and fresh-tasting and comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta (assuming you made the lemon oil in advance), so it makes a great weeknight meal.

printable recipe
Ravioli with Peas, Bacon and Lemon Oil
Serves 2-3

3 slices of bacon
1 9 ounce package refrigerated cheese ravioli
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup daikon sprouts (or other sprouts or micro-greens)
Lemon-infused olive oil (see recipe below)
¼ cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chop the bacon into ½” wide pieces and fry in a skillet until golden and crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain. 

Cook ravioli according to directions.  While the ravioli is cooking, cook the peas according to directions.

When the ravioli is done, drain in a colander and transfer to a medium bowl.  Toss with a tablespoon or two of lemon oil, then transfer to individual bowls. Top with peas, bacon, sprouts, and pepitas. Drizzle with a little additional lemon oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Lemon-Infused Olive Oil
1 lemon
1 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil

Scrub the lemon well under running water and dry thoroughly.  Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin only (no white pith) of the lemon.  Place the lemon peel and olive oil in a small saucepan and heat slowly over low heat for 10 minutes, until the peel begins to sizzle.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Transfer the olive oil and lemon peel to a clean glass container and cover tightly.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, strain out the lemon peel and return the lemon oil to the jar.  Refrigerate for up to a month.  When ready to use, remove the amount needed from the jar and allow to come to room temperature before using.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Grilled Shrimp and Corn Salad

Last Year's Post: The Best Salsa Ever
Two Years Ago:  Roasted Tomatoes (Preserving)

Ahhh, summer corn season.  Fresh corn is only available for a few short weeks, so we tend to eat it as often as possible in every way possible.  This salad is a great way to enjoy fresh corn in a light, healthy and delicious summer salad that also includes tender grilled shrimp, grilled red pepper and creamy avocado.  Add a glass of chilled dry rose wine and you have the perfect summer dinner.

Our luxury in the Midwest is that we can buy corn at the local farm stand that had been picked just that morning, so it's unbelievably fresh.  The very first corn of the season is always the best - the most tender and sweet, with tiny kernels.  People wait all year for that corn and then just devour it.

When I was growing up, we always had fresh corn one way only - shucked, boiled and served with butter and salt.  I am perfectly happy with that method to this day, but have learned the joys of grilled corn as well. There are two ways to grill corn, and they result in distinctly different tastes, textures and appearance.  The first is to leave the husk on and soak the corn in water for an hour or so, then grill over medium-high heat for eight minutes, turning on all sides.  After grilling the husk and corn silk very easily come off all at the same time and the corn is very tender because it basically steams in its husk.  The husk and silk give it a slightly different taste than boiling that I would almost call grassy (in a good way).  The second way is to shuck the corn first, then grill it directly over the same medium-high heat for the same eight minutes (two minutes per side) until browned and tender.  This method give the corn more of a grilled flavor and fire-roasted appearance.  Grill the pepper at the same time and let it get some of that same fire-roasted look - it greatly adds to the flavor and visual appeal of the salad.

I tend to using the husk-on method of grilling corn if we plan to eat it directly from the whole cob, and the naked grilling method if I plan to cut the kernels off to use in other dishes because they're so pretty.  Here's a tip that I learned a few years ago regarding how to cut the kernels off a cob of corn without having them fly all over the place - stand the cob upright in a shallow bowl (make sure the bottom of the cob is relatively flat) and as you cut them, the kernels fall neatly into the bowl.

Here's another tip regarding grilling shrimp - thread them on two parallel skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes so they don't burn up) and they won't spin around when you turn them.

The smoky grilled shrimp, corn and red pepper are complemented by a light vinaigrette and the cool, creamy avocado for an irresistible, healthy, fast and easy meal.  What more could you ask for a perfect summer dinner?

printable recipe

Grilled Shrimp and Corn Salad
Serves 4

About 12 bamboo skewers
4 ears fresh corn, shucked
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed if frozen (31-40 per pound)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ large shallot, minced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Red leaf lettuce for garnish
1 lemon cut in quarters, plus the juice of half a lemon
1 avocado

Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.  Prepare a grill for medium-high heat.  Holding 2 skewers parallel and slightly apart, thread shrimp onto both skewers at the same time (this makes them easier to turn on the grill).

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and shallot and set aside. Cut the avocado into slices and toss with the juice of half a lemon to prevent browning.

Cut the red pepper into quarters.  Lightly brush the shrimp, corn and red pepper pieces with olive oil on all sides.  Grill the corn directly over the heat for 2 minutes per side, until browned and tender.  Grill the red pepper 2 minutes per side, until softened somewhat and browned on the edges.  Grill the shrimp for 90 seconds per side.

Cut the kernels from the cobs and place into a large bowl.  Chop the red pepper into ½” pieces and add to the bowl.  Add the shrimp, parsley, vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Arrange lettuce leaves on plates and top with the corn mixture.  Place several avocado slices on the side and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the salad.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tomato Crumble

Last Year's Post: Smoky Peanut Mole with Pork Tenderloin
Two Years Ago:  Chicken Pasta Salad with Fresh Herbs and Corn
More Tomato Recipes: The Best Salsa EverGazpachoTomato Olive MeltsRoasted Tomatoes

The very idea of a tomato crumble is intriguing, don't you think?  Most of us are familiar with fruit crumbles that are mixed with sugar and topped with a sweet streusel before baking.  In this version, ripe tomatoes are tossed with herbs and topped with a savory breadcrumb-parmesan-pine nut mixture before baking.  I made a trip to my local farmer's market this week and found beautiful tomatoes and herbs so I immediately thought of this recipe.

I first tasted it when The Lawyer's sister Marne made it for a family gathering.  It really caught my attention because baking intensifies the tomatoes' flavor and melds it with the herbs so it literally explodes with flavor.  It makes a lot so it's great for family gatherings or pot luck dinners but I would also encourage you to make it any night as a side dish to go with grilled steak, chicken, lamb, or even halibut or swordfish.  I served it with seared tuna and fresh corn on the cob and it was a total feast just for the two of us. It would also make a great vegetarian dish with the addition of a little tofu and served over rice or couscous. Leftovers?  Excellent!  Here are just a few of the many ways you can use them.
  • Toss with hot cooked pasta for dinner, or cooked and cooled pasta for a salad.  Add any other leftovers or cheese of choice.
  • Use as a filling for an omelet.
  • Use as a topping for toasted french bread slices along with some black olives to make bruschetta.
  • Make a tart or quiche using the tomatoes as a main ingredient.
  • Pizza!
  • Layer on french bread with sliced zucchini and other favorite vegetables; top with a slice of mozzarella and broil until browned for an open-face veggie melt.
  • Re-warm gently and use as a chunky topping for meat.
  • Make a contemporary twist on a BLT by using the baked tomatoes in place of fresh and arugula in place of lettuce along with bacon, then grill on a griddle or panini press until warm and crisp.
  • Top baked potatoes with the tomatoes and a little sour cream for stuffed baked potatoes.
  • Add to a breakfast sandwich with eggs and cheese on an English Muffin.
You get the idea.  Leftovers are like gold in this case.

The crumble is very easy to make.  You start by coring the tomatoes and cutting them in half, then gently squeezing them and poking out the seeds with your fingers.  I also removed the lighter-colored, more dense pieces connected to the seeds.  Here's a visual to show you what I removed.

Then you cut the tomatoes into chunks and let them drain 20 minutes in a colander to remove some of their water.

They'll still release water when they bake, which is no big deal - just use a slotted spoon to serve the tomatoes if you don't want as much liquid.  But I would definitely save the liquid with your leftovers, so you can use it depending on the next dish you make.

While the tomatoes drain you prepare the breadcrumb-parmesan-pine nut and butter topping.  Although the recipe calls for fresh breadcrumbs, I think using panko crumbs would work equally well and might even be a little crunchier.  After the tomatoes drain you simply place them in the baking dish, sprinkle in the herbs and toss them around, then top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake.  It's a great and different way to use some of the fresh tomatoes from your garden or the farmers market at this time of the year.

Tomato Crumble
Serves 6 to 8

Olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 lb. summer tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, made from day-old peasant white bread, including the crust
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup pine nuts
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a shallow 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

Stem tomatoes, then halve horizontally. Squeeze halves lightly to extract juice, then scoop out seeds. Cut into 1-inch chunks and drain chunks in a colander for 20 minutes. (The amount of liquid that drains from the tomatoes will vary depending on the variety of tomato.)

Spread the tomato chunks in the baking dish. Add the basil, rosemary, salt and several grinds of black pepper, and toss.

Mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix well with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Spread the mixture on top of the tomatoes.

Bake the tomato crumble until the topping is crisp and slightly browned and juices are bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Do not worry if there is liquid in the pan; you can spoon it out or leave as is. (The crumble can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cool and leave at room temperature. Reheat in a preheated 350-degree oven until warm, about 15 minutes or longer.)

Garnish the center of the crumble with fresh basil and rosemary sprigs (optional).

Healthy Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

If you'd like to receive notification of future Cracked Pepper posts you can sign up at left. I typically post once per week. Last Year's Post: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

There are few meals that are more comforting than spaghetti and meatballs.  But why take the time to make it from scratch?  The over-riding reason for me is because you can control the fat and sodium while customizing the recipes to your taste.  Both of these recipes - the meatballs and the sauce - are healthy versions but still full of flavor.  In particular, the meatballs are made with chicken and turkey sausage and then baked before putting them in the sauce.  They're tender and delicious and would make a great meatball sub, or made in a smaller-sized version they're great in soups or as appetizers with a dipping sauce.  Before discovering this recipe we had previously bought frozen turkey meatballs that we liked, but they're very high in sodium.  I actually like this recipe better because the meatballs have more flavor and aren't as dense in addition to being lower in sodium.  If you like spicy food you could always substitute hot Italian sausage for the mild version called for in the recipe.

This is a good weekend project because the sauce takes a while to cook.  Make the meatballs while the sauce is cooking and freeze them for later. Tip: if you freeze them on a pan or rack before putting them in a freezer bag, they don't stick together and you can take out as many as you want.  You don't even have to thaw the meatballs - just drop them in a pan of sauce and they'll be nice and hot when the sauce is heated.

Both recipes make a lot so you'll have quite a few meals or you can hold a big family gathering.  The sauce is versatile and can be used in all kinds of recipes - lasagna, baked pasta dishes, chicken parmigiana, etc.

I always use low-sodium versions of canned tomato products whenever possible to keep the sodium content down, and I also like to use one can of fire-roasted tomatoes in this recipe to give it a little extra flavor and because I like the little black flecks.  It's a good basic recipe that you can vary by increasing or decreasing the spices.  Freeze the sauce in several meal-sized containers that you can later thaw and add olives, mushrooms, or whatever you want for that meal.

When I was a kid we didn't go to restaurants because we were "too young to behave properly in  a public restaurant".  Seems like a quaint idea today, doesn't it?  Anyway, take-out was the alternative and spaghetti was the first restaurant take-out food we had, so that fact alone made it incredibly exotic to me.  (Our family isn't Italian and my mother never made spaghetti at home.)  Even today spaghetti is a fun meal to me.  Make it from scratch for (or maybe even with) your family and it will be special for you too.

click here for a printable recipe version

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Makes 9 cups of sauce and 20 – 30 meatballs depending on size

For the meatballs:
¾ lb ground chicken
½ lb chicken or turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (two cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
¼ freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper

 For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ dried basil
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Hot cooked pasta

To Prepare the Meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 350d. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Romano, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently but thoroughly with your hands (plastic gloves are helpful).  Make any size meatballs you want, rolling them gently in your hands to make a smooth ball, and place on the parchment-lined pan.  Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.  Set aside to serve with spaghetti sauce or freeze for later.  To freeze:  wait until the meatballs are thoroughly cool, then place the entire pan in the freezer until the meatballs are solid.  Remove the meatballs from the pan and place in a zip lock bag; freeze.  To reheat, place frozen meatballs into sauce and heat on medium for approximately 15 minutes.

To prepare the sauce:
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and sugar.  Cook 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.  Stir in wine; cook 1 minute.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve meatballs and sauce over hot cooked pasta with additional Parmesan on top.