Pasta con Carne in umido con Polpette (Sunday Pasta Sauce)

Had to place a conference call to Mom in NY today about this recipe.  For almost every Sunday of my life, I can remember this dish being made on Sunday Morning.  My mother's meatballs are so inviting.  You can smell them down the street. You can smell them in the garage. I was craving comfort food today. This was perfect.  I don't now how it happened.  I was was wondering if I had added enough cheese to the recipe and my phone rang.   It was my mother again, in that sweet, authoritative voice, demanding that I add more cheese. How did she know?

3/4 pound veal
3/4 pork (you can omit the pork and use Ground Turkey.  This sauce was traditionally made with whatever was left over from the week).
3/4  beef
2 eggs
Into a bowl place your meat, 2 eggs, one cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup parsley chopped fine
1 clove of garlic chopped fine (optional)
1/2 cup red onion chopped fine
1 cup of fine bread crumbs plain, plus more for dredging~
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon frying oil

In a flat pan, large enough to accommodate your ingredients, heat your oil.  Saute your onion and garlic until fragrant. Remove your onion and garlic in pan and place in bowl with your meat and mix. Then add salt and pepper, eggs, cheese and mix.
Prepare a flat pan and line it with parchment paper.
Assemble your meatballs, using your hands.  Roll about 3  tablespoons into your hand and roll into a ball.  Roll into a ball.  Pass in breadcrumbs and lay on pan covered with parchment.  After you have assemble them all, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.
Heat your oil again, add more if necessary and begin frying your meatballs, in small batches.  Do not crowd them.  Good things need time. Do not rush. Do not worry if they do not seem completely cooed through. As they will continue to coo in the sauce.  They will become more flavorful as they coo in the sauce.  Set them aside to cool.
You can make up to 24 meatballs depending on the size.  I like to keep mine around 2 inches in diameter.

1 large diced white onion
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 cup medium carrots diced
1 cup diced celery (fine)
1 28 ounce can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon of salt/ plus more to taste
1 teaspoon of pepper/plus more to taste
1/2 cup of milk 
1/2 cup white wine
a pinch of Nutmeg
1 cup water
Several handfuls of fresh basil for sauce and for garnish

Drain your oil from the pan you have fried your meatballs in.  Add some white wine to the pan and de-glaze  away the bottom bits from the pan. Drain the entire pan and wipe out.  It will still have a wonderful flavor to the pan.   (You are cooking your sauce in the same pan you fried our meatballs in or you can just use a mixture of veal, pork and beef and brown).  
 Place your pan back on a low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan.  Add your meat and brown.  Remove your meat and set aside.  Add your onion, carrots, celery, garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add a little salt to the pan. Put a lid on your pan and let your vegetables sweat for a few minutes.  After 3 minutes remove your lid and mix.  Continue until your vegetables are fragrant.  Add your meat back to the pan. At this point add some of your meatballs.  Be careful not to crowd your pan.  Add your tomatoes, all of your liquids and let reduce on medium. Add your teaspoon of salt and pepper, pinch of Nutmeg.   Simmer your sauce for one hour.  You will notice your sauce will quickly reduce to half. Continue reducing on low.  You will notice your oil will form a ring around the sauce in your pan and your sauce will be thickened.  Turn your heat off and set aside.

Had to chase my family out of the kitchen~lol Meatballs for appetizer too.

Boil your pasta till al dente.   I always serve my pasta first. Mix with some sauce.  Add some Parmesan cheese if you prefer.    In a separate dish serve your meat with plenty of good, crunchy Italian bread~ Buon Appetito.

Special note: My mother would saute various cuts of meat in the pan after frying her meatballs.  Be sure and always drain your pan  and wipe with a paper towel before adding your sauce to the pan.  You can add all of your browned meat back to the pan right before you are ready to add your tomatoes into the pan.

2.  If you wish to bake your meatballs rather than fry, you can do this very easily.   After the meatballs are set on a baking sheet, place them on a low broil for 10 minutes.  Give the pan a shake, low broil 10 minutes more until evenly browned and crisp.  They will taste just like you fried them.  If you use this method your sauce will not be as rich but will still be good.  Enjoy!


Carole said…
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Keith Jackson said…
wanted to try this but when i read the part for the sauce it said, "Remove all the remaining grease and place your pan back on a low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan. Add your meat and brown." trying to decide what meat as it seems meat ingredients used for the meatballs, confused plse help
Sorry for the confusion Keith. This is a meat based sauce. I will edit shortly. Some things are hard to translate in the kitchen. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask.
Keith, thank you for your comments. It's a great recipe and it works. See if it makes some sense now.

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