Well, it’s that time again. Time to make dinner. Ugh. My son had asked if we could make meatballs, and as it just so happened I had bought ground beef at Mom’s this week. I asked my husband to go into the drawer and pick out a pasta. He chose rigatoni. Not a bad choice.
First, put the water on to boil and throw some salt into the pot.
The only hold-up was the question of whether to add an egg or not? I thought that we didn’t. My son said to call Nonno. Nonno is my dad. We called, but he wasn’t there. Over the phone, my brother tried to help. He looked into the recipe books, but meatballs was not there. My husband started to open his greek cookbook and I stopped him. “We are NOT making keftedes,” I told him, “This is italian. Put that book away.”
It’s pretty simple to make meatballs. Add breadcrumbs to ground meat, salt, pepper, and any thing else to taste. We threw in garlic and parsley. Oh, and the egg which I still feel doesn’t belong in an italian meatball. Combine all seasonings, breadcrumbs and meat then roll into balls. My son rolled small balls for himself and my husband and I rolled regular-sized ones. It’s ok to eat some of the uncooked mixture if you’d like. We did. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid and live to tell about it.
A check on the water and it is beginning to boil, but not rolling yet. Heat some oil in a medium saucepan, saute some fresh spring garlic we got from the farmer’s market and that my husband has chopped for me. Brown the meatballs and then add tomato sauce to cover, salt, and pepper and smidgen of dried mint. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. Make sure to stir up well to keep the pasta from sticking. The instructions say to boil for 13-15 minutes, but this really depends on your pot and flame. I tend to keep my flame a little too high and the Le Creuset pots heat up fast. My pasta was ready by 11 minutes. Pour out into a colander. Enjoy a nice steam for your face. Do not run cold water over the pasta, why do people do this?
Remove the meatballs from the saucepan to a serving dish. Toss the rigatoni in a bowl and add tomato sauce and mix well to coat. Let the pasta and meatballs cool for 5-1o minutes before serving. Serve with the best salad – one made by your husband, and some bread.
Grate some parmesan cheese to pass. Be careful, if you are like me, to not grate your own flesh. Ouch. This is why my husband makes the salad. I try to stay away from sharp instruments in order to keep all my fingers.
Dinner is done! This was pretty easy, just the way I like it. The husband and son even helped out and there wasn’t any yelling or screaming. Amazing! Well, there was one problem. No wine! My husband was freaking out that there was no wine. I had told him earlier this week to go buy wine! We did have lambic, so we just ate the meal with lambic framboise and my son had milk.
*This recipe has been approved by a six-year old picky eater: thumbs up.