Y'all, no lie. You cannot make or find better meatballs and sauce than these. This recipe takes hours. HOURS! You will roll and cook meatballs until you think you cannot go on. You will be covered in tomatoey splatters, your stovetop will be speckled with oil. Your floor will need a thorough mopping and your hair a thorough wash.
But when you close your teeth around your first forkful of spaghetti twirled around a chunk of unbelievably light meatball, every sweaty memory will melt away into a blissful, amnesiac blur. Rather like holding your baby for the first time and remembering nothing but perfection after just swearing you were breaking in half and to death during labor.
I know. I screamed both of those things. And then I held Jack. And Ol. And then I ate these meatballs. On different days. And all was right in the world.
In addition to tonight's vat o' dinner, I now have leftovers and enormous stores in the freezer. This will all make me happy in the near and distant future.
Whilst supping, I told Tom how marvelous I find it that any recipe I didn't create but make often ultimately becomes my own. Or you, yours. I've made this dish countless times in the years since I found it in Gourmet during a train ride to NYC.
And now, the ratio of beef to pork, no veal thank you, is my own preference of 2:1. The quantity of tomatoes is less than originally called for, and I find parsley to be optional while lemon zest is mission critical. I use less milk when soaking my bread, and I dice my onions fine, fine, fine. I don't wait to add my garlic.
Like Nanny's spaghetti and roast when I was growing up, these spaghetti and meatballs will be the regular Sunday, comfort-food meal I serve to my family as we grow. As it became mine, it will become ours.
PS- How stunning was this BLT, our dinner on Friday night?!