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



Excerpted from SUNDAY SAUCE – When Italian-American Cook 

Of all the fine traditions of the Italian-American enclave in the United State, the Sunday afternoon ritual  of making  and eating a Sunday  Sauce, a.k.a. “Gravy” is Italian-America’s most Time-Honored of all. Mamma, Grandma (Nonna) will make her celebrated “Sunday Sauce” and all is glorious. Sunday Sauce? What is it? Well, first off, Sunday Sauce, or as some call it, Gravy or simply “Sauce,” is without question thee number-1 undisputed “Supreme Dish” of our great Italian-American Cuisine and the Italian-American enclave as a whole, “It doesn’t get any better than a Sunday Sauce.” Ok, now, to be more specific for those who may not know about Sunday Sauce, there are a number of variations on the theme. Most Sunday Sauces are made with Italian Sausages, Braciole, and Meatballs. Some people make their versions with; Beef or Pork Neck, while others make their Gravy (Sunday Sauce) with just Sausage and Meatballs, like Pete Clemenza, or the most popular version of; Sausages, Meatballs, and Braciole.  Some may throw some Chicken Thighs or a Veal Shank into this mix. Sunday Sauces can be made with any combination of these aforementioned meats. The meats are slowly simmered for several hours in a “Sauce” made with tomatoes, minced onions, and garlic. I generally like to make my Sunday Sauce Gravy with  Sausages, Meatballs, and Pork Ribs. Other times I’ll make it with Sausage, Meatballs, and Braciole.  An old tradition in some families is that mother or Grandma would start the Sauce early on a Sunday morning, get all the ingredients in the pot and start the Gravy simmering away for a couple hours on top of the stove, then put it in the oven for a couple hours while everyone goes to Church. When you get back home, the Sauce would be ready, “ready to be devoured that is!”

   Our family would usually start our Sunday meal with the most traditional Italian-American-Antipasto of roast  peppers,  Salami, Olives, Celery, and  Provolone.  After that, it’s on to the Main Event of Maccheroni and Sunday Sauce, a dish which is something so Blissfully and Pleasurably Sublime, that it is almost “Sinful.” Yes it is.

   When a meal centered around a Sunday Sauce is announced, one can have visions of Blissful Ecstasy at thoughts of eating Pasta laden with Italian Sausages, Savory Meatballs, Beef Braciola, and succulent Pork Ribs. All this has been slowly simmered to culinary perfection. Yes just the thoughts can enrapture one into a delightful frenzy of the “Most Blissful Feelings” of smelling, seeing, and consuming all the ingredients, the Sausages, Meatballs and Gravy. Yes a Sunday Sauce can and does have such effects on one’s mind, body,  and soul. And, I do not want to sound prejudice, but this is pure fact, it is the Male of the Italian-American species who Love The Sunday Sauce in all its form, far more than the female sex.  True! Meatballs too! And Italian-American men and boys Love and hold oh-so-dear, their Meatballs, Sunday Sauce, Sausage & Peppers,  and Meatball Parm Sandwiches.

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke