Nothing conjures up a checkered tablecloth and an Italian American trattoria like spaghetti topped with meatballs. In the States, we tend to eat meatballs over pasta or in a sub, while Italians simply pair up a bowl of them with nothing more than a Basic Tomato Sauce, crusty bread, and some red wine. No matter how you eat these herby meatballs, they’ll fill you up. And if you have leftovers, don’t worry—these get better the longer they rest in the sauce.
What to buy: Meatballs shouldn’t be where you hide second-rate ground meat, so look for quality meat from a good butcher. Our turkey-beef-pork combo tastes great, but any combination will work, even straight ground chuck or ground sirloin. If you can choose, go for the more full-flavored ground turkey thigh meat rather than breast.
Beverage pairing: St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel, California. With the comforting, meaty chewiness of the meatball, you need a wine with a similar level of familiar, deeply satisfying fruitiness. Zinfandel is a great choice. Not the most complex of wines, this one is nevertheless rich, fruity, and clean. Serve it slightly chilled and maybe—what the hey?—in a small tumbler.