A reader has asked that I share the meatball recipe, and of course I will! It’s from a Gourmet issue several years ago that focused on the best of Italian-American cooking. These are truly amazing- very time consuming but worth it; if you make the whole recipe, you end up with enough meatballs to serve 12-16 people. The sauce is delectable, and it all freezes beautifully. Once again, lemon plays a subtle but starring roll. It is such a critical ingredient in so many dishes! I use whole wheat spaghetti.
Recipe is in Em-i-lis recipes.
In the oven now are fabulously light whole grain muffins that my kids (and I) devour at every opportunity. The trick is to use whole wheat pastry flour, which is very finely milled and thus quite light and airy, and buttermilk. This is a recipe from Mark Bittman when he used to write the Minimalist column in the Wednesday NYTimes Dining section. It’s super versatile so you can add any fruit/veggie you’d like. This morning, for example, I used 1/4 of a zucchini that was getting sad and limp in the fridge, the one banana we had left which was quite brown but therefore perfect for mashing, and 1/2 of an overripe pear. The kids never know or care that all this good stuff is in these muffins.
My one beef with this, and many recipes, is the amount of sugar called for. When baking, I NEVER use the recommended amount of sugar; rather, I cut it by at least a 1/4, sometimes more. I’ve never felt disappointed by the reduction.