The littlest meatball

The other night, after Ants on a Tree, we had some leftover Samish Bay ground pork. Only half a pound, though. Not enough for a reasonable quantity of larb. Spaghetti and meatballs seemed like the way to go.

Here’s what I know about meatballs. The less meat you put in them, the better they are. Fillers have a bad name, but they are what makes a meatball great. A meatball without fillers is a puck.

So here’s what I did. I make a scary-looking mush with crustless white bread, yogurt, milk, salt, pepper, oregano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. (I got the idea of mashing bread with milk from Cook’s Illustrated.) Minced garlic or onion could be good here, too, but I didn’t use any. Then I started spooning the slurry into the pork and stirring it up. I didn’t end up using all of the slurry, but it was more than I expected. You want to put in enough so that the meatballs will hold their shape, but just barely. I made miniature meatballs, about an inch in diameter.

I browned the meatballs in olive oil, drained them, and finished simmering them in tomato sauce. With spaghetti, it was the perfect amount for the three of us, and Iris ate numerous meatballs. First, though, she looked at her plate, where I had carefully cut a meatball into bites for her, and said, “But where is my meatball?” She sounded just like Frances.

Yes, we know, you are perfectly capable of taking apart your own meatball.