Posted by: tomciocco | April 5, 2010


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.




  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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: