The other night, I was struck with an inexplicable, deep craving for spaghetti and meatballs. Nothing else would do. Not lasagna, not pizza, not any other kind of pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs. The Italian-American kind, the sloppy, rustic meatball that drowns in red sauce and a blanket of grated Parmesan. Who knows where cravings come from, but I identified mine, and it had to be quashed.
So I made it happen. I made up the recipe as I went along, loosely looking at the Barefoot Contessa version, too. I used equal thirds of ground beef, pork, and veal, and added panko, egg yolks, chopped shallots, and water until the mixture felt moist and ready. The sauce was a simple-enough combination of San Marzano tomatoes, onions, red wine, garlic, and thyme, and it simmered away for hours. And as for the pasta, well, I bought that fresh from Milano!
We dove into the meatballs alongside some decadent garlic bread (I split open a baguette, slather it with a compound garlic-parsley butter, tightly wrap it up in aluminum foil, and gently reheat in a 250 oven until soft and fragrant), a fishy Caesar salad, and lots of red Italian wine. Easiest dinner party of all time!