About a decade ago while still working for 94.5 The Hawk in New Jersey, Zane was pressured in to entering an office meatball contest. He was mocked. He was the butt of jokes. He was told he'd never win. However, after double-blind judging by a panel of esteemed Italian chefs, Zane's Slaughter the Turks Armenian Meatballs
were crowned the champion! Here's the recipe, as well as a how-to video if you're interested in making them yourself.
1 Large egg, beaten
¼ cup whole milk
1 slice of soft white bread
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt, divided use
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided use
1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano, divided use
1 pound ground beef
½ pound ground sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 (6 ounce ) can tomato paste
½ cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 bay leaves
1 half a carrot
8 ounces spaghetti
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for accompaniment
1. In a bowl combine the egg and milk and crumble in the bread. Add parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon oregano. Add the ground beef and ground pork and mix well with wet hands. Just dig right in there and mix it awesomely with your CLEAN hands. Each meatball should be no more than 2 tablespoons of meat mixture, shaping by hand. Very important not to make the meatballs too big.
2. In a deep saucepan slowly heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and the garlic and slowly cook until the onions are transparent. Remove the onions and garlic with a slotted spoon, placing them into a small bowl.
3. Add meatballs to saucepan. Brown the meatballs, turning them often. Make sure the damn heat is not too high. You’ll ruin them like everything you do. If you don’t slowly brown them, they will suck. Drain off excess fat. Stir in the browned onions, garlic, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and bay leaves. Add carrot (absorbs acid. You will remove when done.) Cover, reduce heat to low simmer. Cook for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The longer you keep it on the heat, the thicker sauce will be.
4. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cover.
5. Remove the bay leaves and carrot before serving sauce over hot spaghetti. Pass grated parmesan cheese.