There's Just Something about this Pair!
Another favourite result of the rolling hand exercises is that of meatballs cooked in tomato sauce and served with spaghetti. This particular recipe, which incorporates grated cheese and white bread moistened with milk into the ground meat, creates moist meatballs full of flavors, a far cry from some of the dryer 'bounce-off-the-wall' versions served up in some places.
- Heat up 1/4 cup of milk in a small saucepan over low heat until warm. Remove from fire and soak a slice of day-old white bread (crust removed) in the milk until milk is more or less absorbed. After it has cooled down slightly, squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and discard the milk. Chop up the bread (don' fret if you end up with a soggy gooey white paste).
- Add the bread to 250g of ground pork, 250g of ground beef, 1/3 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped shallots, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley (or if unavailable, fresh coriander leaves are a good substitute), 1/4 teaspoon of dried marjoram (or Italian herbs), a bit of oil, ground black pepper and salt. Mix until combined.
- Roll a heaped tablespoon of the meat mixture into 1-inch balls or slightly bigger.
- To make the tomato sauce: put in blender 2 cans (14 oz-can) of whole peeled tomatoes and pulse until crushed and smooth. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (this last ingredient is so very important for that extra kick in the sauce) into 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and heat over medium fire. When oil starts bubbling around the garlic, add the crushed tomatoes and a bit of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
- Add the meatballs into the simmering tomato sauce to cook them over a slow fire. After 5 minutes or so, stir the sauce and the meatballs (gentle stirring so as not to break up the tender meatballs). Simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the meatballs are cooked.
- Serve over cooked al dente spaghetti with extra grated cheese on top. Grab a fork and start twirling that pasta.
- Recipe should make enough for about 3 persons (for a main course) or up to 5 persons (as a starter).
And so, with a glass of red wine in hand and Andrea Bocelli's Sogno CD playing in the background, we're ready to toast to a wonderful pair (meatballs and spaghetti) and more easy-going meals such as this!