Leftovers are the worst. There’s nothing more upsetting to me than the thought of having to eat the same meal for two consecutive days. With the exceptions of cassoulet, veal rib chops and cold Chinese food. I’ve found myself at times with my back against the wall and nowhere to run. Staring down what seemed to be a never-ending pot of chili. No matter how many spoonfuls you choke down on day two, three and four, it never lives up to the luster of that first bowl. That half eaten carcass of whole roasted lemon chicken and potatoes never looked more appalling than 24 hours after its first performance on the dinner table. Act 2 is always lacking panache and flair. A bit like seeing the touring version of Dame Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express. There’s nothing like seeing a roller skating rock opera on or in the vicinity of Broadway. Anything else is a deflated Yorkshire pudding.
This scenario played out for me not too long ago. I found myself without transportation as my wife had driven away for a day of shopping and such. I had no clue that she left me in near dungeon-like conditions. My stomach was clueless as well, since it had enjoyed a heaping pile of ricotta pancakes earlier in the day and was quite full. Fast forward 5 hours and I was still abandoned.
When I opened the fridge that afternoon it was like the scene in Pulp Fiction where that guy opens the briefcase and an ultra bright glowing light shines back at him. Like that but not in a good way. T’was none other than a frustratingly enormous, and quite frankly revolting pot of spaghetti and meatballs (duh, see title).
I pulled out the pot of pasta and just kind of stood there for a minute staring at it with my hands on my hips. Having to deal with such a vulgar subject takes a lot of meditation. What to do?
Trust me, you will forever have the chance to make this. There’s no such thing as a single serving of homemade spaghetti and meatballs (unless you live in Jimmy’s house, in which case no pasta survives to see another day).
Begin by taking 3 minutes to reflect on the amazing things you’re about to do with leftovers.
Spaghetti & Meatball Balls
• Heat your oven to 375°
• Throw the pasta on a cutting board and finely mince it. I made a batch of 3 balls, which requires about a cup and a half of chopped pasta (if your pasta was already sauced, then spread it out on the board. If not, then add about a 1/2 cup of sauce and mix it around)
Multiply if you want to make more than 3 balls. Place a meatball on the board and form a layer of chopped pasta around it until it’s completely surrounded. Now that you have the base formed, it’s time for some breading.
I used sea salt rice chips and grated Parm for mine but you can used anything really. Just regular bread crumbs or panko and the cheese would work, because honestly I didn’t really get much from the breading except a nice textural coating. Roll the spheres in the crumbs and place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until they start getting some color and have set up a crust.
In the meantime you really should make this thin aioli I thought up as an accompaniment.
Logan’s Thinkin’ Time Pink Aioli
Dump everything in a processor and pulverize for a few minutes. You will end up with a thin pinkish sauce for your lovely golden globes of goodness. I used the excess rice crumbs as a bed for my playful take on Arancini.
If you use breadcrumbs, I wouldn’t bother. Have you ever had success taking unappealing leftovers and ending up with a masterpiece? We’d love to hear about it!