The Friday Night Meatball Recipe That Changed My Life

Transform your life by gathering for meatballs. [Photographs: Carina Romano]

Editor's Note: If you haven't had a chance to read Sarah's fantastic article about how building relationships with big pasta and meatball dinners, you should do it now! It's fun, funny, heartwarming, passionate, and genuinely thought-provoking. Everything we look for in a great food story. Now take it away Sarah!

Last month, I wrote an article here about our family's new Friday Night Meatballs tradition and talked about how hosting a low-key, open weekly spaghetti dinner has changed my life and my family's lives for the better.

It struck a chord with readers: something about our busy lives and our need for community, for time and space to talk and eat and just be, connected with more people than I could ever have imagined. Since then, readers have been emailing and commenting nonstop. We've heard from readers in Mexico, Argentina, the UK, Vietnam, Malaysia, Gaza, India, Hong Kong, Canada, and across the US, all holding or planning their own variations on Friday Night Meatballs!

To help spread the tradition, I started a Facebook page that garnered 300 likes in its first day, then took to Twitter and Instagram to share Friday Night Meatballs photos and stories. (You can use the hashtag #FridayNightMeatballs to share your own!) I'm proud to say that we are now launching FridayNightMeatballs.com as a way to help people around the globe come together, build community, and relax around tables full of homemade food. I hope you'll join us—and tell us your own stories!

So many readers asked for my husband Joe Cleffie's meatball recipe that we had to oblige. After making a few small tweaks for foolproofing and streamlining, we're proud to present it here. This isn't the most complicated meatball recipe around—quite the opposite, in fact. Our goal here is a recipe that anyone can make, no practice required, and get great results. I hope it inspires a thousand dinners in communities worldwide.