I love making the Southern husband his suppertime favorites. As a result, shrimp and grits are frequently on the menu, along with okra and various things made with scallops, and he’s always perfectly happy with good old fashioned burgers on the grill. But every now and again I remember that he loves beef stroganoff…and then I don’t make it. There’s something that feels so fancy and serious about it that I just can’t pull it together for a Tuesday night. And then one day it occurred to me that maybe the Tuesday night version was not the steak and mushrooms and egg noodles version. Maybe it was the meatballs and shallots and spaghetti version.
Note that the mushrooms hit the cutting room floor immediately. I wish I could love you, mushrooms, but I don’t. I don’t even like you. But since I was already going down the completely inauthentic beef stroganoff road with the whole meatball thing, I didn’t feel the least bit bad about losing the mushrooms.
Once that was settled, what was left included a basic meatball mixture that you roll into smallish meatballs and bake until they are cooked through. Meantime, saute some shallots in butter, and make a lovely stroganoff using a little of the pasta water and some sour cream. Swirl the meatballs around in the sauce until they are nice and coated, and then spoon them onto plates of nice hot spaghetti. Scatter a little dill on top and serve it up.
I’m guessing nobody will miss the mushrooms, or the more complicated classic version one little bit. Just ask the Southern husband!
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- ¾ pound ground chuck
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, chopped
- ¾ cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped fresh dill for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, saving one cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450. Combine meat, breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl, and form into one inch meatballs. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute shallots until softened, about 5 minutes. Add pasta water and bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes until liquid is reduced a little. Whisk in sour cream and season with salt and pepper.
- Add meatballs to skillet and gently stir until they are coated.
- Divide pasta among plates, top with meatballs, garnish with dill and serve.
Adapted from Everyday Food