Sunday spaghetti with "real" meatballs

Capanile's Spaghetti and Meatballs

We had a particularly quiet weekend since our sons were away on a Scout winter camp-out.  They slept in tents in the snow, pushed a human “dog sled” around a farm and did all the other things that boys do when they’re free to roam and there’s lots of white stuff on the ground. It was a fun, but exhausting event for the guys. My husband thought it would be a nice to treat them to a Sunday dinner that fits their tastebuds, not ours. I immediately thought of spaghetti with meatballs because:

— they requested it last week but the meal fell off our “while dad’s away” plan

— I never make meatballs from scratch but …

… I had dog-eared a page in the current Sunset magazine for a recipe from the chef of L.A.’s Campanile restaurant.

My husband and I decided to team up to manage the handmade meatballs. Thank goodness or I’d still be in the kitchen.  The sauce was simple — garlic, olive oil and three large cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes plus sprigs of fresh basil. I threw in several cloves of roasted garlic (prepped yesterday for a party) instead of fresh.  It was the meatballs that took FOREVER.  I’m still trying to decide if the effort was worthwhile.  At least the recipe produced enough to feed a small army. We have leftovers for later this week plus a batch of sauce stored in the freezer. And we entertained ourselves watching the documentary Young at Heart (about a chorus of senior citizens who perform rock cover songs in concerts – touching and funny).

The boys showed up to dig into their much-requested meal, along with a salad and garlic bread (a loaf of French split lengthwise and smeared with butter and more of those roasted garlic cloves).  Happy campers!

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