In a small nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat, warm 2 tablespoons
of the olive oil. Add the green onions and sauté until almost
translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1
minute. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the basil and the thyme and cook
for 1 minute longer. Set aside to cool.
Grate enough of the Parmesan to measure 1/4 cup; set aside. Using
a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining Parmesan into thin slices;
set aside to use as a garnish.
In a large bowl, combine the beef and the cooked onion-herb mixture.
Using your hands, work the seasoning into the meat. Then add the
1/2 teaspoon salt, the 1/4 teaspoon pepper, egg, bread crumbs, reserved
grated Parmesan and parsley. Work together until evenly blended.
Cover and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes to make the mixture easier
Form the chilled meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. In a large
nonstick frying pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons
oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the meatballs in a single
layer; do not allow to touch. Sauté, turning to brown evenly
on all sides, about 15 minutes.
Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until
the meatballs are cooked through, about 8 minutes longer. Using
a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Salt the
water lightly and add the spaghetti. Stir immediately to separate
the spaghetti strands and return to a boil. Boil until just tender
to the bite, 8-10 minutes, or according to package directions.
While the spaghetti is cooking, in a large, heavy pot or saucepan
over medium heat, combine the tomato sauce with the remaining 1/2
teaspoon basil. Bring to a simmer, add the meatballs, cover and
simmer until the meatballs have taken on the flavor of the sauce,
Drain the spaghetti and transfer to a large, warmed platter or
individual pasta bowls. Ladle the meatballs and sauce over the noodles
and sprinkle with the reserved shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.