Today, I have been craving a little pasta and meatballs. I love meatballs and tend to vary the seasoning and portents of them, but today I’m going with the classic. I think meatballs are best with ground pork as a basis with prosciutto and mortadella adding additional layers of flavor. The key to the entire dish comes with braising the meatballs in the basic tomato sauce. The result is a ridiculously flavorful sauce that is great with pasta or just eaten alone with scarpetta. Buon Appetito!
- 1 can whole tomato
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbs olive oil
- pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper
Barely hand crush the tomato over a strainer and bowl. Try to get as much of the seeds out as you can and place the tomato into a bowl. Do that with the entire can and then run the remaining liquid in the can through the strainer. Using a spoon work the rest of the liquid through the strainer and dump the seeds.
Preheat a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 2 cloves of finely sliced garlic. Add the tomato right before the garlic is about to brown. Add the reserved liquid. Reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt, pepper and pinch of sugar. Cook about 20 minutes and re-season.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/4 lb ground prosciutto
- 1/2 cup white bread
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup parmigiano
- 2 large eggs
- grated nutmeg
- 1 portion basic tomato sauce
- Remove the pork and prosciutto from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before working. Grind the prosciutto and set a side. In a small bowl combine the white bread and milk. Let the bread absorb the milk then remove excess milk.Combine the meat, cheese, eggs and bread in a large mixing bowl. Grate 1/8 tsp of nutmeg into the mixture as well as several grinds of pepper. Make sure everything is incorporated but not overworked.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to cooking to allow for the flavors to meld. Ball into ~ table spoon size. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium high sauté pan and brown each side of the meatballs. It should take ~8 minutes.
- Cover with tomato sauce and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. This will be your sauce for the pasta.
Cook the pasta al dente in salted boiling water (remember not to add the salt until water boils). The amount of sauce made should be more than enough for 1 pound of pasta. Ladle some sauce into a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pasta and a splash of the cooking water working the tomato sauce through the pasta. Add some parmigiana. I like plating my pasta over whipped ricotta (ricotta and a bit of heavy cream) and serve topped with meatballs, more grated parmigiana and some crushed red pepper.