1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces short pasta noodles such as penne, ziti, cavatappi or cellentani noodles
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef broth
2 cups milk I used half and half
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
freshly chopped parsley for garnish optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients for the meatballs and mix well. Shape into balls about 1.5 inches wide (a cookie scoop works great, I typically use to scoops with a regular sized cookie scoop for each meatball).
To cook the meatballs, you can brown them oven medium-high heat in an oven-safe skillet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 12-15 minutes until cooked through OR skip the browning and arrange them on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish in a single layer (not touching) and put them straight into the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle.
While meatballs are cooking, place noodles in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until just fork-tender (follow package directions), drain, and set aside.
In the same pot you cooked the noodles (or a large skillet at least 2 inches deep) melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute longer until fragrant.
Sprinkle flour over melted butter and stir until it comes together in a thick paste.
Gradually whisk in the beef broth, followed by the milk.
Stir in worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Stir in noodles to coat in the sauce, then add the cooked meatballs. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired and serve.