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Spaghetti and Meatball Burgers

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • Salt
  • 1/4 pound bucatini or spaghetti
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small white onion, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups tomato pure
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • A few leaves torn basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Meatball Burgers:
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1-inch slices white bread, crusts trimmed
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a heavy handful
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 8 slices deli-sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese
  • For the Garlic Bread Rolls:
  • 4 crusty rolls, split, such as ciabatta or plain Kaiser
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
PREPARATION

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Season water with salt, break pasta in half and cook to al dente, drain and cool. Reserve.

In a small saucepot, heat oil and melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and stir a couple of minutes; add onion, bay, tomatoes, oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer at low bubble for 20 minutes. Remove onion and bay.

Place beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Soak bread in milk; then squeeze out liquid, crumble and add it to meat. Add parsley, cheese, egg, garlic and reserved cold pasta.

Form into 4 large burgers let the pasta stick out from sides. Heat a thin and even layer of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties 12-15 minutes turning occasionally until cooked through and crispy. Douse burgers with sauce and melt cheese. Turn off heat.

For the rolls, broil bread to lightly toast. Microwave or heat oil, butter and crushed garlic. Brush toasted bread and top with herbs and cheese, broil 1 minute to set cheese. Serve meatball burgers on rolls and top with more sauce.

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