Oscar Sunday is coming up. If you live in LA, you have to take the Oscars seriously, partly because a good chunk of the city traffic gets rerouted for the two weeks prior to the event (to build stands for those die-hards who camp out the night before to secure their spots close to fame) and partly because you can’t escape entertainment, no matter where you are in the City of Angels.
It’s a ritual to get together with some friends and start watching the “arrivals” starting at 3 pm, what is called the “red carpet” which is crowded with inane tv heads paid to ask inane questions. But never mind what gets said – in our track suits, huddled on the couch, the clothes critiquing is de rigueur, before enduring three hours of uninteresting awards, bad songs and commercials.
I usually prepare finger food, arranged on the kitchen table, for people to get up and serve themselves when their tummies make themselves known. But, this year, I decided to go in the opposite direction and make something messy and very unOscar, not to mention, terribly inauthentic for an Italian: spaghetti and meatballs. While impeccably made up women, unable to ingest a morsel for fear of bloating inside impossibly fitted dresses, we will be mopping sauce from our lips with our fingers, all the while debating whether that Badgley Mischka was actually better than Prada.
The meatballs’ recipe is a throwback to my childhood, the way my mother makes them. She would never serve them over pasta, a New Jersey invention no doubt, only pan-fried or in tomato sauce with peas. But, as she will not be watching the Oscars with me, there is no need for her to know.
1/2 # Ground Beef
1/2 # Ground Pork
1/2# Ground Veal (if you don’t object to it and can afford it – otherwise use 3/4# of beef and 1/4 # pork)
1/4 C Milk
1/2 C Bread Crumbs
2 T Finely Chopped Parsley
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Salt and Pepper
- Soak the bread crumbs (panko, if possible) in the milk for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the ground meats, parsley, parmesan, the slightly beaten egg, salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix gently with your hands, without overworking the meat. Form the mixture into meatballs.
- Fry in a pan, using 2 to 3 tablespoons of canola or olive oil, until browned on all sides.
- Eat them as is or plop them on spaghetti.