First off the sauce. Here is what you need:
1 package pork soup bones (neck bones). The grocery store didn't have exactly what we were looking for here, but they did have some beef marrow bones. Not ideal, but they will work for this in a pinch.
4 cans of tomato sauce
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 large onion
3 stalks of celery
6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red chilis
1 star anise
(place star anise & cloves in a tea ball for easy removal)
salt and pepper
1 bottle or 4 cups of red wine. We like to have some boxed wine on hand for cooking. (the bottle in the photo above is for drinking!)
First you will put a little olive oil, salt and pepper in your pan & brown your soup bones. As stated before, our store was out of soup bones, so we used some marrow bones, and the pork bones left-over from our Mu Shu dinner.
Once your bones, meat and / or trimmings are browned, and a fond has developed, remove from the pot and add carrots, onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and lightly salt and pepper vegetables. Cook until they just start to sweat.
Here is Tyson's instructional video on how to chop an onion:
As soon as your aromatics start to sweat, pour in all of the red wine.
Put your bones and meat back in.
Add your dry spices, tomato sauce, dice tomatoes, tomato paste.
Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Stir again and turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 3 - 4 hours.
While your sauce is simmering, start on your meatballs.
Here is what you will need:
1lb ground meat (we are using turkey, but pork, beef or chicken will also work)
panade - 2ish slices of stale bread (we used some left-over garlic toasts) Then cover your bread in whole milk and set aside. Let it really soak up the milk. We started ours before we browned our sauce bones.
4-6 minced cloves of garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs
handful of finely chopped parsely
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
First season your meat with salt and pepper. we used about 1 generous pinch of salt each side and a few cranks of fresh pepper.
Place your meat in a large mixing bowl.
Remove the bread from milk and pour remaining milk into your tomato sauce. Since our bread had a tough crust, we processed the bread in a blender till smooth. If your bread is really mushy, you could even just squeeze out the milk by hand and throw it in the meat as is. Add dry bread crumbs,
egg, parsley, garlic and cheese.
Mix everything together completely to ensure an even distribution of ingredients. Your meatballs should be tender but hold together easily.
Form your meat balls & lay them out on a greased baking tray.
Bake your meatballs at 350 for about 20 minutes.
When your sauce is about ready, remove the bones, add the meatballs and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve over noodles (recipe for home made noodles here) and garnish with fresh basil! (we forgot the basil in this photo)