Book Club Pairing: BIOGRAPHY

By Aaron Walters

The Dish: Meatballs with Arrabiata

The Wine: Solane Santi Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore



  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions until translucent (approximately 5 minutes). Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Continue to cook the mix, stirring often, for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and cayenne pepper powder. Mix the ground beef thoroughly until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add the onion and garlic mix to the mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Then add the water and a pinch more salt, and mix until fully combined

Shape the meatballs, then brown them quickly in an olive oil coated sauté pan. Transfer them to a foil-lined baking sheet, then bake them for 15 minutes. Lastly, toss into the pot with your Arrabiata and simmer for a few final minutes.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes less for a less spicier flavor
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 15 minutes. Once reduced, use immersion blender (or regular blender) to break up the chunks of diced tomatoes but without making the consistency overly smooth. Season the sauce with more salt to taste, if needed.


Clark Trim