For the next Dinner In The Movie (in case you missed the last one, you can find it here!), I picked not only one of my favorites, but also my cat, Cooper’s, Lady and the Tramp. It’s a classic, and one of the most iconic scenes is definitely where Lady and Tramp eat a deliciously large pasta dinner, and while they both reach down to slurp up a noodle, it ends up being the same one, and as they are chewing they get closer and closer and, well, I’m sure you can guess what happens next.
Cooper, who is my hilarious cat who has way too much personality (she likes to watch Animal Planet in bed on the weekends – no joke), loves this movie- especially the Siamese Cat song. I wish I was making this up, but as soon as she hears the little sounds of that scene, she will turn her head to look, and when those two cats come out of the basket, you couldn’t pry her away from the TV screen with a piece of turkey that has catnip all over it. I think because she is part Siamese that may have something to do with it, but regardless, her eyes light up. She loves this movie, so it was only natural that I make this movie a part of the series.
This dish, inspired by Lady and the Tramp, is a really quick spaghetti and meatballs. To make everything from the meatballs, to the marinara sauce, to the pasta would take a little under an hour from start to finish. The sauce is full of flavor and one of my go-to’s for a quick dinner – I’m part Italian, so that means growing up my dad made huge batches of sauce, similar to this but with meat, and we’d have pasta every Sunday night. I’ve taken the same flavors and made them into a delicious spaghetti and meatballs that you can curl up with and enjoy while watching the classic, Lady and the Tramp.
Dinner in the Movie: Lady and the Tramp
Quick and Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs
For the marinara sauce:
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
6-7 leaves of basil, thinly sliced
For the meatballs:
3/4lbs ground beef
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
Paparadelle pasta, cooked al dente
In the bottom of a large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the anchovies and break them up using a spoon in the pot. They will gradually melt into the sauce. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the onions and shallots have softened. Add the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes and stir. Cook until the sauce is just about to boil, then turn down to low. Add in the crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the basil. Cook on low for about 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally (you can make the meatballs ahead and place them in the marinara sauce during this step and cook everything at once). Serve while warm over pasta, on meatball sandwiches, in lasagna, or cool down and place in individual containers and freeze until ready to use.
For the meatballs, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper, basil, garlic, onion, and parmesean cheese in a big bowl, trying not to work it too much; just until it comes together. Roll into meatballs – I did about 1″-1 1/2″ balls – and set aside. Heat a medium sautee pan over medium high heat with enough oil to just cover the bottom. Place the meatballs in and sear on all sides until brown. Place the meatballs in the marinara sauce to finish cooking – about 15-20 minutes.
Serve the paparadelle pasta with a generous amount of sauce and 3-4 meatballs.