Meatball Parm Sandwich

The Meatball Parm Sandwich, as stated earlier, is one of thee Italian-American males most treasured of all things in his life. Things he needs to live a happy, normal, satisfying life, and an actual necessity for true Happiness. It’s right up there with Mom, Grandma, your Girl, wine, Sausages, and Sunday Sauce. “We ask not for much.”
No you do not have to be a Man or a Boy to eat one. Ladies and Girls eat them as well. It’s just that the male of the species happens to eat 5-times the amount that Italian-American females do. Not only that, but the male of the species holds Meatballs and Meatball Parms in much Greater Reverence, than do Italian females. They “Exalt” it, as the Meatball Parm, it deserves such adulation. The men and boys adore it and get quite excited at the prospect and act of eating one, the “Meatball Parm.” And the ladies who make them, know how much their boys love and cherish meatballs and the Meatball Parm Sandwich. Italian women want to please their men, their sons, so they make them tasty bowls of pasta, Sunday Sauce, Sausage & Peppers and Meatball Parm Sandwich when their men desire them. Yes, we don’t need much; friends, family, good food and wine, and we’re happy.
Yes it’s true, Italian-American ladies and girls like this thing called the Meatball Parm as well, but they don’t get quite as excited about this sandwich as do the men & boys do. You see, Meatball Parms are held quite dear to Italian men. Yes, it’s a guy thing, and more specifically, an “Italian Guy Thing.” Yes, Italian-American males have given the Meatball Parm Iconic Status within our lives and the realm of food. Why? We’re Italian, it’s as simple as that.
The Great Ritual of the Meatball Parm Monday and as it ties to the Sunday Sauce. You make the Meatballs for the Sauce, the Gravy. On Saturday you will buy all the meat; the Sausages and the rest of the ingredients for your Sunday Sauce (Gravy) to be made on Sunday. However, on Saturday you are already thinking about those Meatball Parms for Monday’s lunch.
Yes, we do Meatball Parms on Monday, following the previous days Sunday Sauce. You see, you have to think ahead. Every good Italian knows that when you go through all the effort and time it will take to make a pot of Sunday Sauce Gravy. You don’t just make it for Sunday’s consumption alone. No, that would be a waste of time to make just enough to eat on Sunday. Well, it wouldn’t be a waste of time, but your time will be better spent if you make more. It takes time, effort, energy, and work to make a Sunday Sauce, which of course is well worth the effort. You do not mind the work involved at all, for in the end, the “Rewards are Great.” A Sunday Sauce will yield, the beloved Sausages, Gravy, Braciole, succulent Ribs, and Meatballs for Monday’s Meatball Parms.
It does not really take much more time to make a larger quantity in order to have leftovers for the next day or two, and this is just what one wants to do, which is to keep the Sauce going, and going for another day, even two. And in those leftovers are the much Prized Meatballs for Monday’s Lunch of Meatball Parm Sandwiches. Yes, the men love and need Meatball Parms on Monday, for the ritual of the Meatball Parms on Monday is a Time-Honored tradition enjoyed by many. As the saying goes, “The Simple Pleasure of Life,” here it is quite apropos.
So, you see, on Saturday when one goes to buy the ingredients to make the Gravy, they automatically know to make sure they get enough ground meat to make plenty of Meatballs that will last the Sunday Supper as well as yielding numerous leftover Meatballs for Monday’s Meatball Parms. And there’s always assaults on the pot of dipping in and grabbing meatballs before you even sit down to the table. With Meatballs and Gravy, temptations are always great. Yes the men, methodically make sure that there are enough leftover meatballs for Monday’s lunch. When all are finished eating the great Sauce on Sunday, they set some Meatballs aside for the next days ritual of Meatball Sandwiches for lunch. These sandwiches will make any dreaded Monday so much better, that’s for sure.
And if there are leftover Sausages? On Tuesday one can make Spaghetti or Rigatoni with Sauce and Sausages, or even a Sausage Sandwich. Think ahead boys and girls, think of Monday and your Meatball Parm.


Excerpted from SUNDAY SAUCE  by Daniel Bellino Zwicke



  1. Cousin Ryan from NJ says:

    I think my gall bladder just exploded in ecstasy from reading about your Sunday sauce. BTW I picked up a copy of La Tavola over in Lodi this weekend. I won it in a debate with Uncle Frankie over who was the better dictator, Napoleon or Mussolini. (BTW the Poggi ’07 Brunello is v.good). Best wishes in your latest chronicle!! When is the DBZ box set coming out? Call it “Heaven Has Wood Paneling and a wall painting that you can’t quite figure out” (I won’t even copyright that). OK I’m done proudly touching base with / cracking wise on the jet-setting Bellino, cousin Danny. File this message under “meatball”.

    • Hey Ryan .. You got me laughing .. I’d pick Napoleon by a long shot, but I know Uncle Frank really liked Mussolini .. Tony and I drank 2 bottles of Brunello the other night. One each, just for us. Everyone else was drinking Cabernet or Chardonnay. Tony cooked us a really nice meal. I love that you won a copy of La Tavola in a debate with Uncle Frankie. That’s priceless. Hope you like the book. Nice hearing from you Ryan. Happy New Year. Hope to see you one of these days.

      Take Care,


    • Hey Ryan, How are you? Hope you and your wife are well. I just again came across the comment you had made on Meatball Parm Mondays. Thanks, love the remarks. Uncle Frank just turned 99 the other day. Amazing, though sad we haven’t been able to have one of those heated debates or conversations any more, but we all have lots of great memories with Uncle Frank, Aunt Fran and everyone. I have to tell you about the time during the OJ Simpson trial when we were down in Aunt Wanda’s cellar for a nice dinner. We were having a discussion about OJ and the Trail and I made the grave mistake of saying maybe OJ was Innocent. Uncle Frank Jumped up out of his seat, Stood Over Me, Pointed his finger at me and cried, “YOU THINK OJ is INNOCENT !!!” Jimmy always loves to tell that story. Anyway, Take Care. Hope I’ll see you one of these days.


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