Did you know that meatballs and sauce can literally take care of any problem that you could ever possibly imagine one having??? No, you never got that memo? Well, you should have because I’ve written about it before. Someone died: bring the family some meatballs. Divorce? No problem, eat a meatball. You’re feeling faint? You probably need three or four meatballs. High blood pressure, smear a meatball on the problem: bam, fixed. Last Christmas my mother couldn’t think of what to get my in-laws: she made them meatballs. I wanted my husband to date me years ago: I made him meatballs. Are you catching the point? Good. Now, the meatball, although it cures everything, is a great source of controversy. There are people out there who truly put everything in them that they can find in their kitchens. Then they are like: Jenny (with their hands up in the air), why do my meatballs taste like shit? Well, because you put a can of gross in them with a side of yuck. i.e. any of the following: oregano, italian seasoning form some weird package, mozzarella cheese and the list goes on and on. My recipe, the only recipe any one should ever use, has been handed to me from my Nana and my mother. These ladies know what the deal is so don’t fret, but the ingredient list is not precise. I mean, we eyeball this. It’s like, how much we feel like that day, the ratio is always changing. So, you are going to have to configure the ingredients as they work for you. I can provide the map, you have to actually take it to the road.
Now sauce, that’s a different story. My mother makes it different than Nana and I tend to follow Nana’s path with the sauce, however, last Saturday I tinkered with Mom’s way and it was pretty spectacular. You are going to question her way of doing things because I even raised an eyebrow when she told me how her magical sauce was formed but just go with it, the result is delicious. There is just one cardinal rule: NEVER, EVER, EVER PUT OREGANO IN YOUR SAUCE. If you do, well, don’t cry to me when it tastes like poop. Also, don’t leave it on the stove for twenty-five days, that is a common myth. I went to Italy, I tasted sauce, I asked the burning question, no one does that. One to two hours MAX and on a very light simmer.
On a side note, we had our first business associate but we like them very much as friends dinner on Saturday and it turned out to be a really wonderful evening. This couple recently had a baby, who is adorable and it was really fantastic to get to know them on a more personal level. It was also so interesting to have an adult conversation with people who understand our life. They too are in the beginning stages of forming their company/career and they have a small child so they get that an 8:30 bedtime is not completely lame. We enjoyed this dish along with a dessert I will be writing about later, some wine we brought back from Italy and a cup of coffee. The conversation was enticing and when they left, I felt renewed.
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS
2-3 lbs. of pristine ground beef (85% lean MAX, you need some fat)
1 to 1/2 cups bread crumbs + extra for rolling the balls
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, the finer the better
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced fine
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream or half & half
salt & pepper
olive oil for the pan
2-3 containers of Pomi tomatoes
1. Throw all of your ingredients into a bowl for the meatballs. Every single last one. Make sure your parmesan cheese is of good quality, make sure your garlic and your parsley are as fine as you can get them and make sure that you don’t go crazy with the salt.
2. Work all of your ingredients with your hands, get right in there to make sure it is mixed well.
3. Make little balls, a little larger than a golf ball, using the palms of your hands to roll them so they have a smooth texture. Place some bread crumbs in a dish and roll each meatball in the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat evenly.
4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
5. Place olive oil in a large saute pan, just enough to cover the bottom and place on medium high heat, allow oil to heat up prior to adding the meatballs. Once this happens, place them in the pan, spaced out, so that each meatball has a good amount of room, if you crowd them they will get mushy. Sear on each side. This does not need to be perfect and they are not going to be done in the middle. This is just to obtain a little crunch and some texture. Continue until you have done this will all of your meatballs.
6. Place seared meatballs on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
7. Dump your Pomi tomatoes into a large pan, remember, your meatballs will be joining them so room is necessary. Simmer on a low heat, once the 15 minutes have passed, remove the meatballs from the oven and toss into the sauce.
8. Cover your sauce & meatballs and leave to simmer on LOW for 1-2 hours.
Serve with your choice of pasta.