Next to Mexican food I have to say my next choice of food group is Italian. Now as we all know there has to be a million and one ways of shaping pasta. I shall not go through a great big list as basically, imagine a shape. Yeah that’s right – there’s a pasta version of it.
When I cook a pasta dish at home for the offspring, it’s nearly always Spaghetti. She won’t eat any other shape!
Spaghetti is nearly always served with Bolognese sauce and minced beef. Luckily I do a good one, even from scratch. As I am no longer allowed to cook from fresh (an indecent with a Shepherds Pie and food poisoning) Spag Bol is the only dish I get away with.
But I like my minced beef in ball form. I love me a meat ball. I tried her with it once. Although she ate it and enjoyed it. Mince is the only way with that one.
I have had a plethora of different meat balls from all sorts of restaurants, be they dedicated Italian or some chain or other. Even the ones you get at Frankie and Benny’s are good. Mahoosive, you only get five. Soft, not heavy, tasty, just the right amount of seasoning. Same with Bella Italia and Prezzo, albeit smaller and more plentiful. Beautifully cooked meat and pasta to go with. They all do a great sauce. Whether you’d call em Bolognese is a matter for debate as that’s an English invention.
Obviously the crowning glory has to be a generous grating of Parmesan cheese. I like to have enough to cover the whole dish. Kind of like a pie crust if you can picture it. Has to be freshly grated off a block. None of that powdered shite. Why bother if you’re only gonna serve that crap.
If a food outlet of any type cannot do Spaghetti and Meatballs properly there is something seriously wrong. Even using cheap ready made balls from the supermarket produces a good meal. If you’re paying upwards of £20 for some the least they can do it make em fresh, make em light and soft with no gristle or hard bits. If I can do it so can they. If they are too unskilled to make a meat ball, even using Campbells meat balls would be preferable.
I recently got a bit mad that Bella Italia was so far away as their Spaggy Balls were sublime, yet so out of reach for a casual meal. Then up stepped Prezzo right next door. Well 18 miles away, but still, close enough to make it a possible tea time treat.
I will get my once-a-week fix. Bring on the balls.