In culinary school, Rocco DiSpirito learned the term Mother Sauce, which refers to a sauce that is the base for other sauces. When he opened Rocco’s and was developing the recipes for it, he and his cooks joked that marinara was “Mama Saucer” because it is an ingredient in many other dishes, and of course it’s the mother of all sauces. It is also excellent on its own, especially with fresh pasta, which is more porous than dried pasta and therefore grabs the sauce and thickens it. I encourage you to make this in large quantities and keep it on hand in glass or plastic containers. It will keep in your refrigerator for weeks or your freezer for months.
His mama is known better for these meatballs than she ever could have imagined. In Italy, meatballs, or polpette, are usually a lot smaller and, weird as it may seem, never eaten with pasta. They are served alone or in soup. In the United States, they became a lot bigger and are eaten alone, on heros, with spaghetti, and even on pizza. There are a lot of meatballs out there, folks, and I’m sure you have tasted your fair share, but I believe these are the best meatballs in the world. I can’t, to this day, pinpoint what it is that makes them so phenomenal; I think it is largely the fact that you mix and roll them by hand. They are not dense like many meatballs, but they also don’t fall apart in tomato sauce. It’s not just my bias speaking here; everyone loves them. People who hate pork love them; people who never go near veal can’t get enough. Vegetarians make exceptions for them. I encourage you to make these meatballs your own. Your kids will love something you make by hand, too.