What do you do with an old meat ball??
You make a red pasta sauce and simmer the meat balls that were made for a meal in the cold of March. When there are only two of us, you often have the opportunity to reuse. The flavor is always good and the meal can come together quickly. However, I really like the preparation time of chopping, mixing, stirring and simmering. If you combine this effort with a few glasses of a 2011 Tiziano Chianti, it really tastes quite good and you get compliments from your better half. Of course, neither one of us can remember what went into the meat balls originally so it is up to you to find the recipe for the main participant of the dish.
Enough olive oil to sauté your vegetables
Veggies: Chop half of a celery stalk, 4 baby carrots, 4 slices of yellow onion, white half of a green onion.
Herbs: Since it is May, I have oregano, basil and parsley growing in my garden and I chopped up a few cutting from these plants plus 2 chopped garlic cloves
Spices; Add a covered palm of sugar and kosher salt and 4 turns of ground pepper
Finally, 8 cherry Romano tomatoes that were from my 2013 garden and frozen last September. Becky stated that they needed to be removed from the freezer so into the sauce they went.
Sauté all of the above until the onions are transparent, than add the spices and herbs. After a few sizzles and pops add a quarter cup of chardonnay, but take a swig first to ensure it is wine and not one of too high quality. Cook the wine down until the sauce begins to thicken. Add 6 oz of tomato sauce, add water to the empty can and add to the sauce to make sure all of the tomato sauce is used. If the sauce begins to thicken too much add some beef broth to increase the moisture.
Plop in the meat balls and simmer for as long as you want.
We used Lidia’s Linguine. Make as much as your sauce will accommodate.
I always like to add the pasta to the sauce and let it simmer with the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the pasta absorb the sauce and its flavor. I hate those restaurants that serve a sauce and the pasta is sitting in cook water and makes everything so runny.
We like a salad of lettuce, green onion, celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes and chopped green olives with an ample dosing of Zia’s Sweet Italian Oil & Vinegar.
The leftover meatballs inspired a simple, delicious meal for two.