Meatball Mania

I am officially declaring this the Year of the Meatball.  Just ask Daniel Mancini of “Mama Mancini’s Meatballs in sunday Sauce” or Johnny Meatballs from New Jersey.  They are gearing up to meat the demand (pun intended) of the public for those little round servings of meaty delight.  I predict whole cookbooks and television series devoted to this Italian staple of humble origins.  Of course, other nationalities have their own version of ground meat delicacies.  But my memory goes straight back to Brooklyn in the 1950’s and 1960’s when I would come home from 9 o’clock mass at St. Ephraim’s (the children’s mass).  the aroma of the sauce hit me as soon as I came in the door.  It was still two hours from completion but the meatballs were already bobbing in a still thin tomato sauce.  Gram would cut a fresh soft roll in half and spoon on a pulpetta with a little of the sauce.  You had to eat it over a dish with your elbows pointing out so the sauce would drip onto the plate.  then you mopped that up with the last of the roll.  Now that was good eats.  The pot of sauce in the picture is from this Sunday.  My son, Joseph, loves it when we make THE SUNDAY SAUCE and it always includes meatballs.  Passing fancy?  Maybe for the fickle American palate but I’ve been enjoying the same Sunday breakfast for 60 years.  “Don’t get that sauce on your white shirt!”  I won’t, Gram.