What most Americans don’t know, is that spaghetti and meatballs don’t exist in Italy. Italy has spaghetti, of course and they have meatballs, but they’re not eaten together. Meatballs are usually part of antipasti, which are appetizers. They’re fried and slightly flattened. In southern Italy, especially in Naples, they’re bigger, put in tomato sauce and eaten as a main course.
Meatballs in sauce is more of what we’re use to. This is because, years ago when there was a lot of migration to the states, the majority of Italians were from the south of Italy, like Naples. It was only natural that they brought their recipes with them. Another thing most people don’t know, is that meatballs were and still are by some, made with leftover cooked meat. This is done to prevent waste.
Here in the States, using cooked meat isn’t done. At least I don’t know anyone who does.
When I make meatballs, I use what I call the Holy Trinity of meats, equal parts of ground beef, pork and veal. I love the taste and texture they give the meatballs. I also use lots of grated parmesan cheese.
In the recipe I posted here, I stuffed the meatballs with a piece of fontina cheese to give it a surprise, gooey center. I put the meatballs in marinara sauce to absorb it’s goodness. When cooked through, I topped them with mozzarella and popped them in the oven to melt the cheese. I then placed them on a bed of cheesy polenta with lots of tomato sauce. Serve a crisp green salad on the side and you have a complete meal.
Of course, if you want to stick to the American way of spaghetti and meatballs, go right ahead. These meatballs are delicious no matter how they’re served.
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