Meatball Subs with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Meatball subs may seem a little heavy for the summer, but subbing fresh tomatoes and basil in for regular tomato sauce puts a lighter spin on it and uses up some of that summertime garden bounty.  Even as a former vegetarian, I really enjoy using the meat grinder.  Ground meat at the grocery store always grossed me out a bit.  It seems inevitable that you often end up with some gristle or a texture that is more like meat paste than ground meat.  Being able to grind your own not only lets you control the texture and quality but lets you customize your own blends with different cuts of meat from different types of animals.  And the freshness compared to store-bought ground meat is night and day.

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Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Welcome to the first official post of 2017.  Lots of new things going on for the blog this year.  Each month we will be featuring recipes pertaining to a different package or attachment for the Ankarsrum mixer, and each month that certain item will be on sale.  This month we are tackling the Deluxe Package.  In addition to the Basic Mixer Package, this package also includes the Blender, Citrus Press and the Meat Mincer Complete Package.

Apparently this past Wednesday, January 4th was National Spaghetti Day, and I thought what better way to feature the Deluxe Package than to make up sauce using the strainer and meat grinder and fresh spaghetti with the pasta discs (included in the meat mincer complete package.)  And my husband really loves spaghetti, so bonus for him!

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Tomatoes! The base for every good condiment!

 

As we reach the height of summer here in Georgia, the tomatoes are turning from green to a beautiful bright red and childhood memories start pouring in. I set out to create this post as one of our bonus posts for subscribers only. As I tested recipes I realized it was much more than just bonus material. This post began to morph into three actual recipes. A basic ketchup recipe, a “fancy” ketchup recipe and a basic pizza sauce. The “fancy” recipe is a bit of a cross between ketchup and bbq sauce and the pizza sauce will have a bit more of a feature in September when we dedicate an entire post to pizza!

Now, the really funny part about this post being one that I created, is the fact that I really don’t like tomatoes. I like ketchup just okay, I’m pretty picky about pizza sauce, not really a fan of marinara, and I absolutely can not eat a tomato raw! My husband actually laughed when I told him my subject for this post. My dislike for tomatoes goes pretty far back into my childhood. I believe I was around 13 or 14 years old and though my parents had always planted a garden each year, this particular summer, my dad decided to plant 96 tomato plants. Yes, you read that correctly. 96 TOMATO PLANTS! My parents had four new dehydrators and they were playing around with the idea of slicing the tomatoes, dehydrating them for several days until they were dry and crispy, and then they would blend the dehydrated tomatoes in a food processor making a tomato powder. It was pretty ingenious as they were able to put up 800 tomatoes that summer in just 8 quart-size jars. My mom was then able to use that powder in soups, stews, re-hydrate with just a bit of water to make her own tomato paste and even added the tomato powder to tortilla and pasta dough. All of that was wonderful but to a teenage girl who already didn’t care for this particular piece of produce, the act of picking several 6 gallon buckets of tomatoes, slicing and laying them in the dehydrator just to repeat the entire process three days later was not my idea of a fun summer activity. With all that said, I actually enjoyed testing these recipes and I hope you enjoy them as well.

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