Illegal Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Because in Italy these two should never be on the same plate, no joke - they’ll start screaming and yelling, But everywhere else and especially in New York, Spaghetti and Meatballs are a red sauce staple - here’s how I make mine, simple and delicious.
8oz ground beef
8oz ground pork (if you’re not a pork eater double the beef, or use ground veal)
1oz of white bread, no crust
1oz (by weight) half and half
2 all spice berries, ground in a mortar & pestle, or between two napkins with a hammer
6 black pepper corns, or 3 twists of a pepper mill.
1 TBS kosher salt (plus more for the pasta water)
1 TBS tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4c extra virgin olive oil
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
6 fresh roma style tomatoes.
4oz freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1lb good quality spaghetti like deCecco
heavy bottomed pot large enough to contain the sauce, meatballs and eventually pasta.
- Fill the stock pot with at least a gallon of water and set over high heat.
- Combine the bread & the half and half, mix well until combined
- Add all of the ground meat, all spice, pepper, kosher salt and tomato paste - mix well until combined.
- Form 1 oz balls, by weighing a piece of the mixture first and then rolling/forming the ball between your hands - they should be slightly smaller than gold balls. Set them onto the cookie sheet lined with parchment
- Heat your heavy bottomed pot over medium heat (250ºF) add the extra virgin olive oil and the meatballs, in batches if necessary - because they need about 1/2 an inch between each other.
- brown on all sides, remove and set aside on the cookie tray (parchment removed).
- Add the garlic to the oil, when fragrant add the crushed tomatoes and the fresh tomatoes. bring to a simmer
- Add the meatballs back in the the pot (now the sauce)
- Lower heat so that the occasional bubble breaks the surface.
- When the water is boiling, add a a good handful of salt (about 1.5oz per gallon)
- Dump the spaghetti in and give it a good stir - cook 2 minutes shy of the box’s instructions!
- When you’re 2 minutes shy of the box’s instructions, add all the pasta to the sauce, and bring the heat back up - stirring continuously for, you guessed it, 2 minutes.
- Add in the cheese and stir for for an additional 30 seconds.
- The pasta and cheese will absorb a lot of liquid and thicken your sauce, if it’s too thick for your liking add some pasta water, and if you already dumped that, add some regular water that’s warm.
- Serve with basil, parsley and/or a bottle of wine and some nice bread. Enjoy a dish that’s totally outlawed in Italy - but legal in all 50 states.