Posted by: tomciocco | April 5, 2010

A BIG BAG OF BAD CLAMS, SOME DOWN TIME, AND A RECIPE FOR “SUNDAY GRAVY”

Who would have thought that that free sack of  mollusks my neighbor gave me could have accounted for a 16 month posting hiatus, but that’s how it went down. This was a BIG bag, and I ate  them all. Five minutes after pushing back from the table I was spinning down a vortex into a sort of bivalve-induced, culinary cross between Dante’s Inferno and Land of the Lost. ..My hair and and eyes have gone completely white…So, despite the small detour into Hades, I am back in the blogging cockpit with a bit of a new take…so like the title says, here’s my personal formula for meatballs and gravy or if you prefer the Italian, polpette al sugo di pomodoro…

 

Polpette al sugo di pomodoro

3/4 lb. ground beef

3/4 lb. ground pork

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1 large egg

1 oz. Italian bread, crusts removed, cubed and soaked in milk

1 heaping Tbs. grated Pecorino Romano

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 small cloves garlic, crushed

1  28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes

1 heaping Tbs. Italian tomato paste

1 cup water

1 tsp. dried oregano

5 large basil leaves

Salt and pepper

– In a large glass bowl, thoroughly combine the first seven ingredients season well with salt and pepper, and form into 3 oz. (about 2 inch diameter) meatballs.

– In a wide, deep skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Deeply brown the meatballs on two sides (don’t  try to turn them too soon – when they’re ready, they’ll release easily from the bottom of the pan – TIP – use a fork to turn them -press it firmly to the bottom of the pan and then push it under the meatball, and carefully flip it over – the fork’s tines help to release the meatball without shredding the browned crust.) and remove to a plate.

– If there seems to be too much fat left in the pan, remove some of it.  de-glaze  the pan with the wine, and let evaporate for a minute. Add the garlic, and fry for a minute.

–  Sieve the tomatoes into the pan. Add the remaining ingredients, and then carefully and thoroughly stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.

– Cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if the sauce becomes too thick.

– Dress one pound of al dente cooked pasta (penne, spaghetti, ziti, rigatoni) with the sauce, and serve the meatballs after as a main course.

TOM CIOCCO

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Responses

  1. Wow! I just thought your life and interests had drifted elsewhere. For some reason, I just clicked on the link to your blog today and you are back, after 16 months, from bad clams….!!?? Hope you’re OK. Looking forward to catching up on your posts.


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