Yesterday was the perfect storm of events. Saturday I went to the Cheese Ball II (perhaps worth blogging about later). Long story short, I came home with 3 pounds 10 ounces of cheese. Some of that was a nice Locatelli Pecorino Romano as well as a gorgeous fresh braided mozzerella that was legit as fuck (LAF). And then a huge snow storm came into town
So why not try making spaghetti or meatballs from scratch? And I mean, FROM SCRATCH.
For the pasta I used a general pasta recipe: 1:1 ratio of flour plus as many eggs as it needs to be a good pasta dough. I used the Semolina flour you see in the pic and double zero flour. I used my human Kitchen Aid (read: boyfriend) to knead it as I am a weakling. Don’t worry, I joined a gym recently.
The mind blowing marinara was achieved by using tomatoes that I canned back in the Summer of 2012. I opened those bad boys up last night and HOLY SHIT it was like summer was all up in my nostrils. It was kind of fantastic. Admittedly, I was nervous but I didn’t smell anything funky, the water was clear and the seal was strong as could be. After breaking the seal I put one jar of tomatoes through the food mill without draining the water. I saw how watery that was so for the second jar (those are quart jars, my friends) I drained the water out mostly and put the whole tomatoes in. Then I added a whole onion cut in half and 4 tablespoons butter and boiled it for an hour. I put a tiny bit of salt but when I canned the tomatoes I added a little salt so it was salty enough. Plus the Locatelli is pretty salty so I figured that would take care of it. And it did because that sauce was fresh to death.
It should be noted that you don’t serve the onion, but that onion is delicious so you should save it and eat it with something else. Also, you may note that there’s no garlic. Fuck garlic! You don’t need it. Except that I totally made a fresh garlic aioli for the table by crushing up 3 cloves of garlic and gently heating some olive oil in the microwave for 30 seconds and pouring it over the garlic. Dipping bread into that was awesome. It was so garlicky.
The real belles of the balls were the meatballs I made. I used a recipe from Food 52 my new fav food website. (Don’t worry Cook’s Illustrated, you always have a place in my heart.) These balls were deeeeelish.
I used a baguette for bread crumbs and local beef, Whole Foods pork and veal. We could resist trying one after cooking them and drying off the oil on paper towels. What a mistake. They were straight up Pringles at that point because once you pop a Blizzard Ball in your mouth you just CANNOT STOP.
After some sweet sweet Maillard reaction, The Balls get dropped directly into the marinara. I let them cook in there while I made the pasta. The dough came out awesome and it was probably some of the best pasta I’ve ever made.
We invited a couple friends over to taste my Balls and had a lot of texting fun with all the testicular puns you could possibly fit into a 1 minute text conversation. This meal was really fantastic. While prepping I remarked that this meal better blow my fucking mind because I was using so many local ingredients (beef, eggs) and organic ingredients (veal, tomatoes, parsley). Not only that but everything was made from scratch so I was ready to be impressed. AND I WAS. So the adage is true. Good Italian food is all about the ingredients. Don’t skimp and you will justly rewarded with great balls.