Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with Meat Balls

I had Italian apartment mates in college who tried hard to convince me that it would be impossible to follow the kosher laws and prepare good spaghetti and meatballs, both because of the lack of pork and because I would not use milk products in my sauce. I've not tasted their dishes, but I think this recipe is really delicious, and if not "authentic," still worth making and eating.


Mix 1 pound of ground beef with 1/2 tsp. garlic and 1/2 tsp. basil. Add egg and bread crumbs, and mix well. Heat oil in a large pot. Form meat mixture into 1-inch balls, and fry until golden in the hot oil. Remove meat balls to a plate. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot, and cook until the vegetables are quite soft. Add the remaining ground beef, and stir until the meat has lost its red color. Sprinkle flour over the browning meat, and mix. Add the wine, and cook, while stirring, at high heat for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, and remaining herbs and spices. Return the meatballs to the pot. Check for seasoning (more wine, vinegar, garlic, pepper, etc.) Cook very slowly for about 2 hours, adding a little water if needed. Be sure to stir often because the tomato sauce will burn.

Bring 3-4 quarts of salted water to boil in a large soup pot or pasta pot. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. When "al dente," drain the spaghetti, and put back into the large pot. Quickly stir in several tablespoons of the spaghetti sauce to keep the spaghetti from sticking to itself. Serve mounds of the spaghetti with sauce and meatballs on top, according to taste. It's also fine to mix most of the sauce and meatballs directly into the pasta and serve in large bowls.

Be sure not to rinse the spaghetti after cooking. This cools the spaghetti, and makes for a watery dish.

Serves 6-8.

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