"She'd start the meatballs early in the morning, and they'd simmer for a long, long time in the sauce, along with beef bones she'd roasted in the oven, and the house would fill with the most incredible aroma. She'd give me one meatball to try before the meal was ready, but that's it; after that, she'd shoo me away when I asked for more, maybe put some sauce on a plate to sop up with bread, which kept me happy."~Lou Di Palo.
I certainly can relate to that. When I make a big pot of meatballs and sausage, I'm tasting and dunking bread the whole time it's cooking. When it comes time to eat, I'm full! This is quite different from my Sunday Gravy , but if it's grandma's....it's got to be good! The addition of the ricotta cheese makes the meat balls very tender and juicy - the addition of provolone cheese makes these extra special!
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 28-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sugar*
10 oz. ground pork
5 oz. ground beef
5 oz. ground veal
1/3 cup shredded provolone
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Pecorino
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Heat 2 Tbsp. and 3 cloves garlic in a 6 qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook until lightly browned. Add dried parsley, basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add sugar. While sauce is simmering, mix remaining garlic, meats, cheeses, breadcrumbs, eggs and salt and pepper in a bowl. Form into meatballs....Nonna made them big! 2-1/2" inches! Heat remaining oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add meatballs and cook turning until browned.
Transfer to sauce; cook until cooked through, about 1-1/2 hours.
**I would reduce the sugar slightly.