Swedish Meatballs

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Swedish Meatballs by Amanda Saldivar
Story and Photos by Mimi Soy

Ever since she was young Amanda Marlyng Saldivar, a junior Political Science major, enjoyed helping her mother and grandmother prepare the meals because she loved mixing and tasting the different ingredients.

“My mother taught me a lot about food at a young age and before I knew it, I fell in love with cooking” says Saldivar.

As she learned to cook with children’s recipe books, she developed a passion for creating food dishes and sharing them with others.

“Growing up, I never thought I would ever cook. Cooking allowed me to get together with my family and gave me time to be active during the day doing the things I loved,” she says.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Saldivar hopes to continue her education and eventually attend law school.

What she likes best about St. Mary’s is the presence of smiling faces, intriguing assignments and networking with lots of interesting people.

“Meeting all these approachable people and creating fun projects is tons of fun. I enjoy everyday of school,” says Saldivar.

Among some of Saldivar’s favorite foods are seafood and Mexican enchiladas. She personally loves eating sushi simply because it can be classified as a healthy food, being low in fat and calories while high in protein.

However, she fell in love with Swedish food when she visited Europe. Since then, she has specialized in recreating Swedish recipes.

“Meatballs are one of the most common dishes cooked by people all over the world. Swedish meatballs are my favorite type of meatballs because it is simple to make and loved by almost all people,” says Saldivar.

Saldivar has developed her own basic meatball recipe, building in the variations.

Each time she makes them, she varies the meat, spices, filler and sauce–depending on what she has in her refrigerator or pantry, or her taste preferences.

“Some prefer a brown gravy, others a white sauce. I prefer sour cream mixed with a bit of pan drippings tastes great. Goat cheese with some parsley or dill in the white sauce or sour cream makes a tasty treat,” says Saldivar.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 c bread crumbs, soaked in 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small onion, grated and drained
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 1/2 T flour (any kind)
  • 1 c chicken or beef broth
  • Lingonberry sauce (optional)

Combine the first 8 ingredients. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls.  Place 3/4 of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs for about 10 minutes. Remove them and most of the fat. Stir the flour and the remaining butter into the pan. Add the broth. Simmer until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Strain it with a sieve to remove clumps. Return it to the pan. Return the meatballs to the pan for 1 minute. Serve with the berry sauce. Makes 2 servings.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce by Paulina Fernandez Adarve
Videography and Production by Mimi Soy

Junior International Relations major Paulina Fernandez Adarve from St. Mary’s University demonstrates how to make spaghetti with meat sauce. Adarve likes to cook for friends so they can enjoy eating her food. In this video, she makes spaghetti because it is easy to cook and healthy to eat.


Meat Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, 3 minced and 2 sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces coarsely ground beef chuck
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan


  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound dry spaghetti


For the meat sauce: Place an 8-quart Dutch oven over low heat. Add the beef, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place a wide 4-quart pan, over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and once it shimmers, stir frequently, until the meat is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a colander to drain.

Once the sauce has been cooking for 10 minutes, place the 4-quart pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once it simmers, add the 2 cloves of sliced garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds or until fragrant. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, and marjoram and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 30 minutes. Add the remaining tomato paste, ketchup and stir to combine. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high; add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook, stirring constantly, for two to three minutes.

Transfer the tomato mixture to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, while preparing the pasta.

For the pasta: Bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat. Carefully add the pasta, stirring quickly to separate. Cover and return to a boil, being careful that the water does not boil over. Once boiling again, uncover and continue to cook until slightly less than, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Add the pasta to the meat sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Transfer pasta and sauce to a serving bowl or individual bowls and serve.