In the 1972 Film The Godfather film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, one of Vito Corleone’s (The Godfather) oldest friends Clemenza has a scene where he explains to Michael Corleone how to make Spaghetti Sauce’
“Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh…? And a little bit o’ wine. An’ a little bit o’ sugar, and that’s my trick.”
Now whilst this recipe might be reminiscent of food of the old country if you’re a Mafia Don, who rules the mean streets of New York, you don’t have to be a villain to enjoy this dish, your crew will love these meatballs too, especially when served with freshly cooked Spaghetti, Parmisane Cheese and Garlic bread.
You can make these meatballs with all beef or with a half beef and half pork, as I have here, which I think tastes better. Meatballs are eaten in some form all over the world, but this recipe is very much based firmly in Italy with the strong flavour of garlic and Italian herbs, served with a rich tomato sauce.
So make these meatballs for your criminals, “I mean crew”.. ! “Capeesh..!”
Italian Meat Balls in Spaghetti Sauce
Spaghetti Sauce for Italian Meat Balls
Make the Meatball Mixture
Mix all the Meat Ball ingredients together preferably in a suitable size mixing machine on slow speed until all the ingredient's are fully mixed.
Mold the meat balls mixture into balls approximately 2cm in Diameter and place on lightly oiled shallow gastronome trays.
Cover and place the meatballs fridge to allow the flavours to infuse while you make the sauce.
Make the Tomato Sauce
Place the olive oil in a suitable size large pot able to accommodate the sauce and all the meatballs.
Add the chopped onions and sweat off for a few minutes.
Add the chopped garlic and continue to sweat without colour.
Add the Tomato Puree and stir if fully then add the chopped peeled plum tomatoes and the remainder of the ingredients and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Bring the sauce to simmer and keep hot, I find covering the pot with a lid and placing it in an oven the best way to allow the sauce to continue cooking without it needing any attention on the stove.
Pre-Cook the Meatballs
Place in a preheated oven set at 180°C for about 12 to 15 minutes until cooked through. the cooking time will depend on the size of meatballs.
When your meatballs are cooked remove them from the oven and place them on the bench.
Place Tomato sauce on the bench next to the meat balls.
Using tongs transfer the meatballs from the oven trays to the sauce leaving any excess oil on the trays.
Gently stir the meatballs into the sauce to ensure they are all covered in sauce.
Return the pot to the stove and bring the sauce back to a simmer.
Cover the pot with a lid or aluminium kitchen foil as I have here, then place the pot in hot oven set at 180C for approximately 1 1/.2 to 2 hours.
After the cooking time is completed carefully remove the pot from the oven and place on the bench. You will notice the sauce and the meatballs will have released some oil during cooking, simply stir the meatballs and sauce and the oil will be reabsorbed into the sauce.
Carefully transfer the meatballs from the sauce to a clean container using a suitable slotted spoon or a spider, than pour the sauce over the meatballs and garnish with Chopped Parsley.
Cook your Spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water and serve separately with your meatballs.