In honor of The Sopranos finale last night, I thought it would be fun to make some goupy, old school Italo-Americano fare. I didn't use any sort of "official" yet cheesy source material, but instead cobbled together a couple recipes from the Silver Spoon Cookbook.
It was my first foray into meatball making. I had fun mixing it all up and getting my hands real dirty. Four pounds of ground beef, one pound of spinach, a couple eggs, a bunch of grated Parmigiano, mirepoix, and many San Marzano tomatoes later, I could've fed a whole crew of guys with my batch of beef and spinach meatballs with rigatoni (get it? riga-Tony?). Our party ate maybe half of what I put out.
A few lessons: the S.S. bechamel recipe sorta blows. It was a reminder to always trust Marcella, even if that means losing feeling in your wrist after 45 minutes of constant whisking.
Also making meatballs is fairly stressful, what with all the shaping and sticking to the pan and whatnot. It's hard to keep those suckers intact. (Tips, anyone?) In the end a batch of Bolognese sauce would've been easier, if a little off-theme. Between cooking and the show itself, I was a bundle of nerves.
I essentially failed in doing a Little Italy style meal and channeling my inner Artie Bucco, since the ingredients were above average, and the sauce was nice and dry (another mistake, since you want the wet gravy to coat the meat), and our garlic bread was hardly in Lawry's seasoned garlic salt territory.
In the end, it was a good first try for a big l'ultima volta media event.