Originally posted at Every Other Thursday
When you have kids, your main goal in life is to not screw up theirs and if you can sprinkle in some wisdom, college tuition and the car keys from time to time, you're golden. However, in my household, I am the king of useless information that can make or break a day, a week, a month or a lifetime. Once such nugget of info I plan to share with my kids when they get old enough to appreciate is the sheer genius around what makes a good meatball parm.
Bare with me for just a second.
There's nothing worse than hankering for a massive meatball parm sub, but to discover that it sucked more than the Red Sox did prior to 2004. With that said, here are the attributes of a kick-ass meatball parm:
- Fresh bread: This is foundation of any good sub, but when it comes to meatball parms, the fresher the bread, the softer the sandwich is overall. There's no cracking of jaws to try and jam the sub in your pie hole. You can squish it and go to town on it.
- Sauce has got to be dead on: If the sauce sucks, then the entire sandwich should be tossed in the trash. The sauce pulls it all together. It has to have good consistency, chunks of tomatoes, hint of garlic and seasoning that's like it was from the old country. It can't be acidic to the point where you should have asked for Tums to go along with it. If you taste any sense of extra sweetness, that means they put sugar in the sauce and it's an automatic FAIL.
- Hearty meatballs: Some people will make their meatballs with some breadcrumbs. That's ok, just as long as it's not overloaded to the point where the meatballs are 75 percent bread crumbs and 25 percent meat. It should be flipped around. The meatballs should be like biting into a good, juicy hamburger. There shouldn't be a ton of spices rolling around in the meat either - maybe just a little Italian seasoning. Light, airy-type meatballs are for light weights. Additionally, just don't give me a handful of meatballs that go the width of the bread, I want them double stacked so I'm forced to eat three or four of them before I even dive into the sub.
- Cheese me: When it comes to the parm, you need to do a layer of provolone on the bread, drop in the meatballs and then add a second layer of cheese. It should be so filthy that you're heart is sending you an email saying, "Dude, not sure how much you want to clog up those arteries, but you're doing a heckva job. Keep up the good work."
- Bonus tip: One last little detail that pulls the ultimate parm together is a light trip through the oven. Give the sub a little browning, but not so much toasting that the bread is cracking with every bite. Give it a drive-by toasting, if you will (which also helps melt the cheese).
So there you have it, the ultimate meatball parm, which in my opinion, is a staple of life. Giving your kids college tuition, the car keys, financial advice is all good stuff, but you can't forget the simple pleasures in life. Meatball parms are one of them.