One whole year

We did it!  Rory and I celebrated our year anniversary yesterday.  A year!  It went by so quickly and it has been so fabulous.  Everyone asks what has changed since we’ve been married and the truth of it is not much. We have been together for almost 10 years and you get to know a person pretty well over the course of 10 yrs.  We’ve lived together for most of our relationship so there aren’t really any secrets we have to discover.  I hope I don’t sound cynical about it, I just feel like we’re pretty solid.  Of course we change over time but when you’re best friends with someone and know them so well, you sort of shift and change with them.  There’s a great deal of acceptance in our relationship – we both respect who the other person is and what they want in life and appreciate the changes that come about.  I would have to say that the coolest thing about being married is, well, just that…you’re married. I have a husband.  I am someone’s wife.  I think we both look forward to being a mom and a dad and that day will come eventually.  We’re pretty happy being permanent girlfriend and boyfriend.

Now – on to food! We had some people over to watch the SEC game this weekend (Univ. South Carolina vs Vandy), Rory wanted finger foods…I’m not great at apps so I made meatball sandwiches!  They were very filling and very tasty, unfortunately, for me I had eaten too much cheese and couldn’t eat all of my sandwich.  I found this recipe on David Lebovitz’s blog.  I kinda love him.  We read all of his tips and ideas for our trip to Paris and I think some friends even went to some of his restaurant recommendations!  I doubled the meat…you don’t have to unless you are serving a lot of people.

Meatball Sandwiches
45 Meatballs – 8 to 12 sandwiches
Inspired by a recipe on David Lebowitz’s blog!

Tomato sauce
2 medium onions, peeled and minced
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups (35 oz) canned crushed or diced tomatoes, along with their juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
one bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Meatballs
1 large onion, peeled and minced
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound (450g) ground beef (not too lean)
1 pound (450g) ground pork
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (25g) grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Pecorino cheese
1/2 cup (15g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dried breadcrumbs
3/4 cup milk

Additional ingredients
salt and black pepper, for seasoning the onions
Mozzarella or provolone cheese
Bouncy Rolls or Crusty Italian or French bread

Tomato Sauce
1. Sauté the two minced onions in a good pour of olive oil in a Dutch oven or very large saucepan, season with a little salt and a few turns of black pepper, stirring frequently, about 3-5m. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are completely soft and translucent,
2. Add the canned tomatoes, the tomato paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, the bay leaf and the sugar, and let simmer over low heat, stirring everyone so often. You can simmer for 10-12 m then set aside but I just kept mine on low until I needed it.

Meatballs
1. Sauté the onion in some olive oil in a large skillet, seasoning with a bit of salt and black pepper, stirring frequently, about 3-5m. Add the garlic, and cook until the onions are completely soft and translucent. Remove from heat, scrape into a large bowl, and let cool to room temperature. (I did this step first first before tomato sauce!)
2. To the onion bowl, add the ground beef and pork, the eggs, cheese, parsley, herbs, 2 teaspoons salt, a few generous turns of black pepper, the breadcrumbs, and the milk. Time to get dirty and use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly. This, for me, is the best part – I love touching my food makes it more of an entire process.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease them with olive oil.
4. Form meatballs a little smaller than size of a ping pong ball and place them evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Find the bay leaf in your sauce and remove it and slowly add all of your meatballs to the sauce.
5. Heat the sauce with the meatballs in it until everything is warmed through. If the sauce is very thick, it can be thinned with a bit of warm water.

Making the Sandwiches!
1. Take whatever type of bread you decided on and cut it open almost all the way through. Slice some of the meatballs in half and put them between the bread, pressing down with a fork to meld them with the bread. Top with slices of cheese and heat in a hot oven (about 400ºF), or under a broiler, until the cheese melts. (We didn’t do this step, though I wish we had! So, you should defiantly do it.)

So, so good. I hope you enjoy these with wonderful company! xo

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