From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Pasta, Please
Making spaghetti and meatballs to serve a crowd can try the patience of even the toughest Italian grandmother. We sought an easier way. We found that roasting the meatballs on a wire rack, rather than frying them in batches, made our recipe faster and cleaner. Adding some powdered gelatin to a mix of ground chuck and ground pork served to plump the meatballs and lent them a soft richness. Prosciutto gave the meatballs extra meatiness and a panade, which we made with panko, kept the meat moist and prevented it from getting tough. To create a rich, flavorful sauce, we braised the meatballs in marinara sauce for about an hour. And to make sure the sauce didn’t overreduce, we swapped half of the crushed tomatoes in our marinara recipe for an equal portion of tomato juice.
One cup of plain yogurt thinned with ½ cup milk can be substituted for the buttermilk. Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater. The ingredients in this recipe can be reduced by two-thirds to serve 4. For instructions on how to cook the pasta in less water, see Lots of Pasta, Less Water (related).