Dancing Mandolin Player is having knee replacement surgery today.
My Sweet Daughter-in-law is having thyroid surgery today.
I’ve been up since 4 AM thinking about both of them.
Surgery is not fun, but they will both feel better when this is over. And then they will be ready to party.
Meanwhile I am thinking about them and wishing I was in Texas and Idaho to make chicken casseroles and meatballs and mashed potatoes.
So, in honor of comfort food, I am going to share Grandpa’s Meatballs. My father, though not Italian, loved Italian food. He longed to be able to cook like many of his Italian friends and neighbors, so he talked a friend named Anne Marie into teaching him how to make meatballs.
And then he taught me.
I make them for my friends who need a little lift. It’s my ultimate comfort food.
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
2 pounds of hamburger
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 handfuls of dried parsley
1 handful of oregano
3 shakes around the bowl of garlic powder
5 shakes around the bowl of onion powder
2 slices of bread soaked briefly in warm water,then squeezed
This goes in a mixing bowl with dough hooks or can be mixed by hand until completely blended.
Then roll the balls the size of big walnuts (we like small meatballs) and put on a cookie sheet. I bake these at 350 for about half an hour, until they are cooked. Try not to burn the bottoms.
FOR THE SAUCE:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chopped onion
1 2-lb can of Rosella tomatoes (I like diced tomatoes of any brand)
2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
a palm*** of salt
a palm of pepper
a palm of parsley
a palm of oregano
Saute the garlic and onion in a large pan with a little olive oil. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the can of tomatoes and mash. Cook on med-high vigorously for about 5 minutes, to cook off some of the liquid in the tomatoes.
Add the two cans of tomato paste, plus 4 cans of water for each can of tomato paste.
Add seasonings and bring to a slow boil, then simmer.
Add the meatballs and simmer for a few hours. You can also put this in the crock pot. The sauce should bubble every once in a while.
TO ADD SAUSAGE:
Cut up a pound of hot or sweet Italian sausage, put it into an oven-proof frying pan and bake it for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Add this, including any fat, to the sauce.
*my best guess: a handful is 1/2 cup
**a “shake” is a circle around the mixing bowl
***my best guess: a “palm” is 1/2 TBS