Le polpette

The meatballs; Le polpette!


Just why, you might wonder, are these meatballs so show-stoppingly divine? Well, for starters, the lemon zest elevates things to new heights. In my opinion, any meatball that takes itself seriously should be required to include a subtle foundation of zesty yellow snow.

Secondly, the combo of beef and pork is critical. Coming from me, a gal rather ambivalent about pork (excepting bacon, of course), this is really saying something. But the pork lightens the mixture, in both color and density, and makes more complex the flavor of meat in the ball.

There is just enough milk-drenched bread to hold things together, and in fact, it lightens the mixture up too. The sauce could not be simpler but, as are so many of the most basic recipes, it is perfect. No more than onions sauteed in oil, some garlic and lots of canned tomatoes plus their juices, it's a slowly simmering sauce that sumptuously enrobes the meatballs and slicks the pasta.

Lots of parmesan, many eggs, parsley and salt are the critically important supporting actors in this show, and you skimp on them to your detriment. The last great thing about these meatballs is how well they freeze. To make the whole batch in its entirety will take you at least two hours, probably three, maybe four. It's worth it. Make the whole thing at once, and then you can look forward to many a good meal that evening and well into the future.