Gather your loved ones and escape from the busy chaos of the back-to-school season with this simple, kid-friendly Sunday supper. Classic meatballs are braised with tomatoes and served over pasta with fresh baguette to soak up the savory sauce, while vibrant peas, tossed with lettuce and green garlic, look gorgeous alongside a hearty bowl of honey-glazed carrots. Finish off the meal with a festive homemade sundae of silky peanut butter swirl ice cream smothered in an array of homemade toppings.
- Four-Hour Baguette
- Classic Meatballs
- Fresh Peas with Lettuce and Green Garlic
- Orange and Honey-Glazed Carrots
- Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream
- Homemade Ice Cream Toppings
- Plot out your prep time to make things easier come meal time: themeatballs need to chill for 1 hour before cooking, then you can start the carrots 15 minutes after the meatballs go into the oven to have them finish simultaneously.
- You’ll need to give the baguette time to rise three times (about 3 hours) before baking. The bread can be finished several hours before dinner, then reheated just before serving. For a perfectly textured homemade baguette, the secret is in the kneading-learn the best way to knead bread dough in our video »
- Consider starting the peanut butter ice cream a day ahead, since the custard needs to chill for 6-8 hours before going into the ice cream maker. Turn dessert into a full-blown sundae party with these delicious homemade toppings »
- For more family-friendly pasta recipes, see our gallery of recipes »
SEE MORE MENUS:
- An Italian Late-Summer Luncheon »
- A Family Movie Night »
- A Classic Birthday Party Menu »
- A Homemade Pizza Party
RECIPE: Braised Meatballs
The key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Serve them with crusty bread or spaghetti to sop up the sauce.
SERVES 4 to 6
10 oz. ground beef chuck or veal
10 oz. ground pork shoulder
2 oz. minced pork fat or unsmoked bacon
2 oz. prosciutto, minced
1 ¼ cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced, plus more for garnish
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground allspice
7 slices white bread, finely ground in a food processor
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅔ cup ricotta, drained in a strainer for 2 hours
2 tbsp. milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
¼ cup dry red wine
4 cups canned tomato purée
1 cup beef or veal stock or water
Grated parmesan, for garnish
1. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, pork fat, prosciutto, parsley, oregano, fennel seeds, chile flakes, cumin, allspice, and bread crumbs and season generously with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, mix ingredients until combined; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, milk, and eggs; add to meat mixture and gently mix until incorporated. Chill for 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 300°. Grease 2 rimmed baking sheets with oil and set aside. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop, portion mixture, roll into meatballs with your hands, and transfer to greased baking sheets. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 3-qt. high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate; wipe out skillet. Repeat with remaining oil and meatballs. Return reserved meatballs to skillet along with any juices from the plate. Add wine; increase heat to high and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and beef stock, bring to a boil, and tightly cover skillet. Transfer to oven; bake until meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the sauce, about 1 ½ hours. To serve, transfer meatballs to a platter; spoon over sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Serve with bread or spaghetti, if you like.
RECIPE: Peas with Lettuce and Green Garlic
This dish is very simple: emerald green vegetables cooked together briefly, until their flavors just meld.
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 small stalks green garlic, thinly sliced, or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
1½ cups fresh or frozen green peas
2 small heads butter lettuce (about 6 oz.), washed, cored, and torn into large pieces
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat; add garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add peas and cook until bright green and tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in remaining butter, along with lettuce and 1 tbsp. water, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Stir until lettuce is just wilted, about 1 minute.