By Chef Shane Solomon, Pizzeria Stella, Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a red-sauce town - what we call "gravy" - but I'm not a big fan of spaghetti and meatballs. I prefer to make a meatball that stands alone, maybe resting on a small base of polenta or some good grilled bread. Nothing that detracts from the meatball itself. This habit of mine is likely rooted in the various Italian regional ways of serving meatballs without pasta, sometimes as a second course, or even the Sicilian polpettine alla griglia (grilled meatballs with a touch of lemon) that make me think meatballs are related to the ground-meat kebabs of the Arabs and Greeks who dominated that island for centuries.
In any case, making a tender meatball relies on a few basic principles: First there's ratio, and about 20 percent of the meat mix should be fat. In my restaurant - and this is a huge benefit of being a pizzeria - I can grind the end nubs ofRead More »from The Meatball Recipe to Conquer All Others