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Fair warning – this meal involves a large amount of “active” time, so be prepared to commit an afternoon to your kitchen.  That being said, the components are all quite easy and the homemade versions of these dishes are dramatically more delicious than their store-bought counterparts. 
(In other words, the time/work is totally worth it!)

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  Serves:  6 to 8

  Prep. Time:  30 minutes

  Cook Time: ​ 3 hours

  Difficulty: ​ Medium

Spinach Spaghetti with Meatballs

What You Need

Tomato Sauce

15 lbs. Roma tomatoes

2 Yellow onions; minced

8 cloves Garlic; minced

2 tbsp. Honey

2 tbsp. Oregano; minced

1 tbsp. Thyme; minced

1 tsp. Lemon peel (dried); minced

2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

1 c. Basil (packed); chopped

1/2 tsp. Ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. Parsley; minced


Spinach Pasta

3 lb. Spinach

4 Whole eggs

4 Egg yolks

6 to 7 c. Flour, plus extra

Pasta roller



1 lb. Spicy pork sausage

3 lb. Ground turkey

3 cloves Garlic; minced

1/4 c. Red onion; minced

1/2 c. Breadcrumbs

1 Egg

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. Thyme; minced

1 tsp. Oregano; minced

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

What You Do

1.  Trim tomatoes, remove seeds using your fingers, toss in a large stock pot and cover.  On medium-high heat, cook the tomatoes down until soft (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally to avoid scorching.

2.  Puree the tomatoes until smooth using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring batches to a food processor or regular blender. (Be careful not to overfill the last two with hot liquid!) Return the puree to the stock pot.

3.  In a frying pan, sauté onion and garlic in a small amount of oil.  Add soft onion mixture to the tomato puree.

4.  Bring the puree to a simmer and add honey, oregano, thyme, lemon peel, salt, pepper, basil, ground nutmeg, and parsley.  Simmer uncovered until thickened (1 to 2 hours), stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot to keep the sauce from burning.

5.  While the sauce is simmering, remove the stems from spinach and steam the spinach.  Squeeze as much water as you possibly can from the spinach. (If you have any cheese cloth handy, use it to create a little bag filled with spinach.  Over the sink, twist the top until the bag tightens and the water drains out (when you think you’re done, wait a few seconds and try once more!).  Mince the spinach very finely.

6.  In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together eggs, yolks, spinach, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

7.  Slowly add flour to the mixing bowl in half cup increments, stirring until incorporated.   Add flour until the batter is not sticky and you can handle it easily.  Eventually it will be easier to knead with your hands rather than stir.

8.  Divide the dough into small portions, about half the size of a baseball.  Cover the dough loosely with a damp towel to keep from drying out.  Run each portion through a flat pasta roller to create wide, long noodles that are about 1/8 inch thick (usually a 4 or 5 setting on most pasta rollers).  Dust with extra flour as necessary to keep pasta from sticking.

9.  Lay sheets on wax paper or tin foil and cover with damp towels.

10.  Run each sheet of pasta through a pasta cutter and coil the batch of noodles into a bird’s nest.  Set aside on wax paper, under a damp towel.

11.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

12.  After finishing the pasta, in a large mixing bowl, combine sausage, ground turkey, garlic, onion, bread crumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Knead together by hand until well mixed.

13.  Divide the mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs and arrange in a glass baking dish.  Bake meatballs for about 20 minutes, flipping once about halfway through.

14.  When you put the meatballs in the oven, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop in the spinach spaghetti and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the pasta floats to the top of the water.  

15.  Use a spaghetti scoop or tongs to transfer cooked pasta to a large serving bowl and toss lightly with olive oil.

16.  Remove the meatballs from the oven and serve pasta alongside sauce and meatballs.