One of my nieces FB’d me, asking for my mom’s (obviously, her grandmother) Italian sauce and meatball recipe. She was going to attempt to make ravioli from scratch, the way her Nonie used to make it.
Over the years, we have all painstakingly written down the instructions for ravioli, but I for one have never tried to make what I’m sure would be a considerable let down. Growing up, homemade ravioli was a meal for celebration, holidays, birthdays, make us happy days. Why bludgeon those memories? But that is another blog.
Anyway, Sarah asks for the sauce and meatball recipe. At this point in my life, I make it (you notice how ‘sauce and meatball’ is one, not two recipes) like my mother used to – a bit of this, a dash of that. Getting it down on paper was a struggle.
Two instructions though, really made me pause. I knew they would be difficult for her to follow. She is a health-conscious young woman, takes care of her body and mind. I too was like that, back in the day and always skipped both these directions…to the detriment of the recipe. Now, I go with it (and Mom) and eat!
1st instruction – When making the meatballs, take 2 slices of bread (my mother generally used Wonder Bread, most disgusting) and wet them under the faucet, then use your fingers to shred the soggy, gooey mess into the meatball mix. I could never understand how this added value to the meatballs. Now…I do not question it and cautioned my niece to do the same.
2nd instruction – Fry the meatballs in olive oil (do not cheapy this) with chopped onion and green pepper. When finished, pour the hot (flavorful) oil directly into the sauce. More so than the gooey bread, there was a time I could not bring myself to do this. The idea made my stomach turn. Mom used to shake her head and shrug, whatever. Now, I go with it and again, eat!
Surely, we all remember favorite recipes from our youth that we tried to ‘healthy-up’ and ruined. Sarah wrote to say she once tried to make Lena’s Lemon Cookies with whole-wheat flour and they just didn’t taste good. I’m sure she will also tinker with the meatballs.
I’ve not heard back on how the meal turned out, but am hoping the ravioli (at least) was delicious! I’ll make the sauce and meatballs, if someone else makes the ravvies!! Bon appétit!