Italian gravy and meatballs

The following is an authentic, Southern Italian recipe - written down at the time of the first-wave of Italian immigration to the US - the late 1800s. I've reworked it somewhat by using wine to de-glaze the pan and by adding a touch of white sugar to counter-act the tartness of the tomato puree. The bread crumbs should be made by hand - by slowly drying crusty, Italian bread in the oven and grating it.

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1-2 Tbl flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbl Romano cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbl olive oil
bread crumbs
black pepper
1 lb pork butt, whole
28 oz tomato puree
6 oz tomato paste
1 large onion
35 oz water
red or white wine
2-3 Tbl Romano cheese, grated
2 Tsp white sugar
black pepper
olive oil or lard
In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs. Add enough bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup) in stages until the ingredients "just come together". Form the mixture into golf-ball size spheres. Rest them overnight in the refrigerator. It will allow them to remain firm, during the long braising period.

In a large Dutch oven - over a medium-low flame, brown the meatballs and onion in olive oil. Remove the meatballs and onion. Brown the pork, and remove it. Degrease the pot. Deglaze the pot with wine. Reduce the wine to a tight glaze. Add the tomato puree and tomato paste. Stir. Add the water. Stir. Increase the flame to medium. Sprinkle in the Romano cheese and sugar. Stir. Return the onion, meatballs and pork to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the contents slowly to a rolling boil. Partially cover the pot. Reduce the flame. Simmer for 3 hours. Periodically, stir the pot and skim whatever scum and grease rise to the surface.

After the sauce is finished, remove the meats and discard the onion. Carve or break the pork into serving sizes. Cook your favorite pasta to al dente.

Place a layer of hot pasta on a large serving platter. Sprinkle it with Romano cheese. Ladle a sufficient amount of sauce over the pasta/cheese. Toss the pasta. Place the meatballs and pork around the sides of the platter. Serve the pasta and meats by passing the platter to the guests.

For the cheese, purchase the best Romano obtainable. (The more odoriferous the cheese the better.) 1 Tsp of Italian seasoning may be substituted for the flat-leaf parsley. 1 lb of sweet or hot Italian sausage may be substituted for the pork butt.

To serve this (and other pasta) dishes "restaurant-style", do the following:
1. Place a 10 inch skillet over a medium flame.
2. Pour in a ladle of sauce.
3. Throw in a serving of pasta, cooked to under al-dente.
4. Pour in a Tbl or so of starchy pasta water.
5. When the sauce comes together, add in a knob of butter.
6. Grate a sufficient amount of cheese over the pasta. Toss.
7. Turn the contents of the pan out onto a plate. (Arrange the meatballs on the pasta.)