Make Up Meatballs
There are times in your life (or in your month) when make up relations - I mean, talking, isn't practical. Or your partner won't go there. To the couch, I mean, to talk. That's when you must pull out Make Up Meatballs, especially if watching “The Godfather” on TV has inspired you to cook spaghetti. I won't bore you with reasons behind the need for making up. But lately, it feels like someone's swapped my Pinot Gris for pickle juice. The husband's been equally joyous at my even-temperedness and grace. Rather, he’s less-than- thrilled by my lack of both. As Forrest Gump said, "That's all I have to say about that."
I will, however, give you the recipe for Make Up Meatballs (which Pete cooked and I named). They work a treat when served with a steaming tangle of spaghetti, buttery garlic bread and a green salad and broccoli (the last two cleanse the palate between the second round of bread and sauce).
Sauce (adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/authentic-italian-meatballs-92095 )
Saute garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil. Add a couple tablespoons of canned tomato and garlic pasta sauce (I used a 420-gram can of Pam's tomato and garlic).
Scrape garlic and sauce mixture into a slow cooker with a can of chopped tomatoes and the remainder of the pasta sauce.
Add mixed Italian herbs and a splash of red wine.
Simmer, covered, on low for at least 4 hours along with meatballs (recipe follows).
One-half kilo (1 pound) of ground beef (called mince in NZ)
1/4 cup milk
½ cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Mix mince with all ingredients at once (Pete says, "I threw it in together and mixed it up like Playdough").
Fry meatballs in a "tiny bit of oil" (for Pete, that equates to 3 tablespoons) on medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes, then add meatballs to the slow cooker sauce.
Serve over steaming spaghetti and use to sop up garlic bread. Serve red wine to the adults.
Take your time eating this meal and see what develops. After 15 minutes, the meatballs take effect and your significant other will start talking about how everyone at the table can do nice things for each other. He may even nod as you recite one of the Mom Commandments: "If Mama's not happy, nobody's happy."
Mama's happy. Kiss and Make Up the Meatballs, Hon.
[More meatball tips here: http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/the-8-most-common-meatball-making-mistakes ]