Saying you don’t like spaghetti and meatballs immediately makes you a person of interest, as far as I am concerned. How could anyone not like a combination of meat, sauce and pasta? I have broken up with men for less.
Knowing the unquestionable superiority of spaghetti and meatballs might lead you to think that it’s reached max level. But rest assured, GMF has teams of highly-trained scientists working around the clock on ways to improve your food-to-face experience. This sort of innovation doesn’t come easy. We’ve lost good people to naps. But their sacrifices have lead to the next generation of food technology–a spaghetti and meatballs plate that’s so robust, The Rock injured himself trying to eat it.
The first change we’ve made is to add a little oomph to the sauce. Hooch, white lightning, call it what you want, but moonshine is seriously underrepresented in the kitchen. Skip the vodka and add XXX Shine to the sauce. XXX Shine is a triple distilled corn whiskey that won’t make you blind like the illicit stuff you get from cousin Merle. XXX Shine has a more refined flavor and a lower alcohol content that perfectly complements the vodka sauce. Now, if what you need is rocket fuel or booze that doubles as lighter fluid, continue to see cousin Merle.
Step two in this full-frontal culinary assault is to switch to ground venison for the meatballs. DC has some great butcher shops where you can pick some up. I usually get mine from friends who hunt, or from watching Rocky 4 on a loop before challenging deer to a bare-knuckle boxing match to the death.
Spaghetti and Venison Meatballs in Moonshine Sauce
1 box of dried spaghetti
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 jars of Trader Joe’s Organic Vodka Sauce
1 pound ground venison, beef or turkey (your call)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan, romano or a blend of both
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Place a large pot of water on to boil. When boiling, add pasta and cook according to directions for al dente. Drain and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a large bowl, mix meat, Worcestershire sauce, egg, bread crumbs, cheese and garlic. Roll meat loosely into 1½-inch meatballs and set aside.
Heat a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium heat. Add both jars of sauce then gently place meatballs in the sauce.* Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs, sauce and extra grated cheese. Serve with extra bread and testosterone. *Note: when using venison, shorter cooking time such as braising directly in the sauce will prevent rubbery meat.
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.