Moving along with the list…
#9 Meatballs with Pappardelle
You know, when you spend as much time cooking as I do, you tend to get pretty critical of your food. If I spend hours and hours making a tomato sauce, it better be the best damn tomato sauce I’ve ever eaten. If I have to buy 4 different kinds of meat to make meatballs, they better make me cry with joy. And fullness.
Sometimes I cook for hours and even if the dish is good, I hate it for not being better. I’m very hard on the dishes I make because I spend my time and money and blood and sweat and tears to make it. I burned my hand, cut my finger, accidentally rubbed pepper in my eye. I worked hard for it, and it had better be good.
So when I love my own food, it’s because it’s really, really good, like these meatballs and pasta.
This recipe is from Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller, which I highly recommend. It’s all about techniques and making classic dishes well. It’s so good, and fun book. It’s got a lot of fun photos and graphics, so it reads more like a coffee table book than a cookbook.
I think Keller recommends you make your own pasta, but seriously. That sauce alone takes like 4 hours with all the chopping of things and then the cooking and then the napping, because it takes so long and you’re so tired now. I think he recommends you grind your own meat too, but I have limits.
Regardless of how you make it, this is a phenomenal dish. It’s good when you make it, it’s good later, it’s good with everything. I want to make those meatballs someday and just eat them by themselves. They’re all gooey in the center with cheese and crusty on the outside.