Serious Eats: Recipes

Essentials: Spaghetti and Meatballs

It isn’t easy to write about recipes week after week and keep your energy level high and your judgment accurate. The accepted wisdom is that readers will stay with you only if you give them a picture and a story, preferably one whose ending is that this recipe for [food] is The. Best. Ever. (Disaster stories are good, too, but who wants to provide a steady stream of those?)

I’ve been burned more than a few times by recipes that bloggers lavishly hailed as amazing but that in my kitchen (my fault?) were only so-so. I’m forgiving, though, because the successes are worth it, and because I know that people are just doing what they have to do to keep cooking and writing. All these peeks into people’s kitchens and lives make up for any number of recipes that don’t quite deliver.

This is my longwinded way of saying that I try to be disciplined and I try to keep my feet on the ground—I don’t say this kind of thing often, but Ina Garten's recipe for spaghetti and meatballs is The. Best. Ever. I know, I know, your grandma’s, your great uncle’s…I don’t care.

This recipe for pure comfort and satisfaction and greedy gobbling makes me feel a little less deprived when I contemplate the fact that there’s no sheaf of family recipes for me to inherit. As far as I’m concerned, this is the Platonic ideal of delicious, unsophisticated spaghetti and meatballs, not just the best I’ve ever made but—I’ll say it—the best I’ve ever eaten.

About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.

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