Appetizer meatballs wrapped in crisp spaghetti
Spaghetti and meatballs take on a new look in this variation.
Instead of swimming in a sauce, the noodles are wrapped around meat
flavored with Italian seasonings, then fried to make a crisp coat. Dip
the meatballs in sauce for appetizers.
Italian Meatballs with Spaghetti Coats
4 ounces dry vermicelli or spaghetti
1 pound ground lean beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1 cup heated homemade or purchased marinara sauce
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring about 2 quarts water to boiling. Add
noodles and cook until barely tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Rinse
well and drain. Set aside. Mix together the beef, onion, garlic,
basil, oregano, pepper, cornstarch, egg, and salt until well blended.
From meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Wind 2 or 3 noodle strands around
each meatball, pressing into the meat’s surface. (If made ahead,
cover and chill up to 4 hours.)
In a deep 3- to 4-quart pan or wok, heat about 1 inch oil to 350|.
Add 8 to 10 meatballs; fry until browned and noodles are crisp, about 2
minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
Keep warm in a 200| oven until all are done. (Or, if made ahead,
cool, wrap, and chill cooked meatballs up to 1 day or freeze for longer
storage. To reheat, bake cold or thawed meatballs in a single layer in
a 10- by 15-inch baking pan, uncovered, in a 400| oven until hot, about
Serve hot to dip in marinara sauce. Makes about 6 dozen.
Photo: Wrap strands of spaghetti around beef ball in a random
pattern, pushing noodles into meat to make them stick. Fry balls in hot
oil until browned and crisp