My posts about vacation are incredibly out of order, but I cooked on Sunday and wanted to share the inspiration.
Boston's North End neighborhood is the oldest residential neighborhood in the city continuously inhabited since the 1630's. The North End was a fashionable place to live in the 18th Century until more commercial buildings and a wave of immigrants led by the Irish and followed by Eastern European Jews and Italians began to crowd the neighborhood, and the wealthy moved on to Beacon Hill. By the 20th Century the area was dominated by Jewish and Italian immigrants, and is known today for it's large Italian American population, as well as its many, many restaurants and cafes.
On the one and only sunny day of vacation, we walked all over Boston. From the Public Garden to Beacon Hill, down to Quincy Market and up to the North End. And finally we stopped walking and started eating.
|Celebrating 30 years in business this year, Trattoria Il Panino (11 Parmenter Street) was a perfect find after looking over several menus at several restaurants.|
|We were in the outdoor garden area, covered and heated in the winter.|
|Let's talk about the meatballs. We had some delicious ones in New York at Cafe Fiorello, but I wasn't mad about these, either.|
|Contractor had the wild mushroom and black truffle risotto, while I had the perfect pan of ravioli. All of this made me want to cook, so I looked up some recipes and found this one that happened to be from The North End Cookbook.|
|Then I decided to go for it. Real Sunday gravy. I used Italian sausage, pork chops, and spare ribs. It's called Sunday "gravy" because the meat drippings are the base of the sauce.|
|Then it was time to saute the onions and garlic and add the tomato paste.|
|Tomatoes, water, and the meat goes back in for a long, slow simmer.|
|Then it was time to make the meatballs. And look at my socks...|
|Combine two eggs, a pound of beef, half a pound of pork or veal, parsley, Parmesan, garlic, and bread crumbs. I grated the garlic rather than mincing it.|
|And then it was all combined the fastest way. By hand.|
|Rolled out and ready!|
|I took the meat out and simmered the meatballs for about 20 minutes. It really did make a lot, and I have some frozen sauce and meatballs for a quick dinner in the future,|