Dearest Boo, this is one of my favorite Walt Disney Productions “The Lady and The Tramp” and I don’t think you have ever had the pleasure of watching it. However, I am sure that you know some things about it and are familiar with some of the songs. One of my favorite is “Were Are Siamese If You Please” sung by those nasty little cats, Si and Am. Do you remember the musical that your Youth Group Minister, Chad, wrote for the group to sing for Easter your junior year? It was so much fun for you and your friends, but I was miserable, hot and sweaty. I was the Light Director, which meant that I had to climb up one story to the catwalk and man the lights. Since we blackened the windows it was hot, hot, hot up there. You little darlings never knew, so I must have done my job.
There was one song that Derrick and Stuart sang. The words were different, but the tune was “We Are Siamese If You Please”. That musical was the best! I wonder if I can find the tape of that performance? It would be fun to be able to watch it again. I really enjoyed the time we had with Chad. He was so dynamic and caring for our youth. I loved the fact that he brought all of us, the youth and parents, closer to God. I remember the wonderful song he wrote about LeAnne for her funeral. He was a wonderful addition to our youth group. I miss him and wonder how he is and what he is doing.
But what does this have to do with the little dinner above? And what the heck is the title about? First the title, it’s what Tony Montana (Al Pacino) said as one of his last lines in “Scarface”. The bad guys had just killed his love and he was going to get revenge. He was out numbered, but that did not matter. He needed to avenge the death of the woman he loved. Aw…..romance. Which brings me back to the video clip, romance. Lady is having a lovely, romantical dinner with Tramp. This film was from 1955 and I am pretty sure we did not see it at the movies, so it had to be on television when I first saw it. Doesn’t matter when I saw it, the fact of the matter is that I did see it and that scene set the tone for what I would forever consider a romantical meal. Spaghetti and meatballs.
In your father’s family there is the legend of the “Spaghetti Eater”. This legendary eater could eat one platter, not a dinner plate, but a serving platter of spaghetti in one sitting. The way the story was told to me that the spaghetti was heaped up on the serving platter. Can you imagine it? It must have been more than a pound of spaghetti eaten by one person. Mind you, I have been in the presence of this person and asked myself if the story was true – it is. I asked, I begged, I pleaded to have this feat recreated in front of my eyes. Please, please, please. I have never seen anything like it before and I desperately wanted to see it for myself. But it was not to be. This was a once in a lifetime and I missed it! And now you may be wondering who is this Legend? Could it be Lowell, but no. Could it be your Grandfather, but no. Could it be your father, but no. Who, who is this person. Why, it’s none other than Stuart’s mother, Edie! I’ll bet you were surprised by this disclosure. It’s true, I begged her for over fifteen years to eat another platter of spaghetti, but it never happened. Oh, we ate spaghetti together, but it was only the normal, every day serving size. I am not giving up hope, perhaps someday I will be a witness to this feat.
Let’s get back to my romantical dinner. I have the pasta figured out. I have the marinara sauce figured out. What I was missing, to make this dinner perfect, was meatballs. Oh, I could make meatballs. They just were never “pasta worthy”. They never seemed to be as good as my pasta and sauce. I was a failure. I would measure, mix and shape those little suckers only to have them mock me with their mediocrity. So, I resorted to using the pre-made meatballs that I found in the freezer section of our grocery store. Not that they were “pasta worthy” either, but they took zero effort on part. However, now I have achieved greatness all thanks to you. Your Christmas present of “Ad Hoc At Home” by Thomas Keller has given my “Spaghetti and Meatballs” the greatness it deserves. This meatball recipe is truly “pasta worthy”. Joy Rising!!
Ad Hoc At Home Meatballs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 -18 minutes at 425 degrees
Source: “Ad Hoc At Home” by Thomas Keller
- 2 T oil
- 1 c chopped onions
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 12 oz. ground beef
- 8 oz. ground pork
- 8 oz. ground veal
- 1/4 c bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz. mozzarella cheese
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and cook gently for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the meats, egg, bread crumbs, and onion/garlic mixture, using your hands. Gently incorporate evenly; do not overwork the mixture.
- To check the seasoning, put a small patty of the meat on a plate and cook in the microwave for 30 seconds, then taste. Add more salt and/or pepper as desired.
- Divide the mixture into 12 equal balls, using a scant 1/4 c for each.
- Cut the cheese into 12 cubes, about 3/4″.
- Shape the meatballs, stuffing a cube of cheese into the center of each one.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Set a cooling rack over a jelly roll pan (the pan will catch any grease).
- Put the meatballs onto the cooling rack and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until cooked through but still juicy.
- Remove from the oven and let the meatballs rest on the rack for a few minutes.
- You can either add to your marinara sauce or place several onto cooked spaghetti to serve.