Tonight we had the pleasure of enjoying an old school original from the Breweries of Tadcaster. This is the brewery that got the whole craft beer craze rolling here in the US, this is a true to style British IPA. This is one fantastic beer, from the creamy head and the abundant fruity hop aroma. At first taste, the hops are not over powering, like a traditional IPA should be, unlike today’s American IPA’s that are excessive examples of hoppiness (don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful). Once you get past the hops, there is a superb malt character, probably one of the highest malt characters I’ve ever had in an IPA. It is tremendous. Given the wonderful malt flavor, I figured it needed to go with a hearty meal. I paired the IPA with a spaghetti dinner with meatballs and links of italian hot sausage. The malt flavor complimented the meat in the dish very well, the meat didn’t overpower the beer what so ever, or vice versa. The medium hop flavor seemed to accentuate the spicy flavors of the meatballs, sausage and the sauce itself. Overall, it was a fantastic pairing, I would highly recommend that you whip us some spaghetti and grab a Sammy’s, not oatmeal stout, but the IPA. Check below for cooking instructions.

   I like to make my meatballs from scratch, I guess if you’d like you can buy pre-packaged meatballs, but it won’t be the same. If you want to make fresh meatballs, well, then read on. You’ll need a large mixing bowl for all these ingredients and be prepared to get your hands dirty. To start, add 2 lbs. of ground beef to the bowl, then add 2 eggs, diced onions and 1.5 cups of bread crumbs. To that we need to add several more things, grab some ketchup and mustard, do about a 1/4 cup of ketchup and a little less of the mustard. Let’s see, I’m a little slow here cause I usually just grab and go, no measuring. Last, but not least, you need about a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Now the fun part, roll up the sleeves and dig in, cause there is no better way to mix meatballs than by hand. Once you have this evenly mixed, roll the meatballs into your preferred size, mine were about 1.5″ in diameter. Have a pan ready on the stove with some olive oil, be sure the pan is heated thoroughly and add the meatballs as you roll them. Cook thoroughly and brown on all sides, you will add these to the sauce once cooked.
   I like to whip up a quick sauce also. It’s pretty simple and low cost, but the flavor is far better than any sauce from a jar you put it up against. The base of the sauce starts with 2 cans of tomato sauce (28 ounce cans), then add the small tomato paste and then the abundant seasonings. Now, everyone likes something so you’ll really need to create this by taste. I start with a packet of Italian seasonings, that I find in my grocers isle. This is just the base for seasonings, I add more flavor such garlic and oregano. A lot of times it ends up being what I find in the spice rack. Add this all to a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring often. 
   I think you all got this one, pretty simple, boil water. Boil the pasta till tender, that’s about it.
   Meatballs = 8-12 mins. 
   Sauce = 10-15 mins.
   Spaghetti = 10-12 mins. 


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