1 pound spaghetti
Salt, for pasta water
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1/4 cup of strong wine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup beef stock
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
A handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
10 leaves fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
Grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, for passing at table
Crusty bread or garlic bread
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it boils, add salt and pasta and cook till the spaghetti is soft but not too soft.
Mix beef and Worcestershire, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake balls 10 to 12 minutes, until no longer pink.
Heat a deep skillet or medium pot over moderate heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion bits are soft. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add in wine near the end after heat is switched off.
Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce and grated cheese. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce. Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce and extra grated cheese. Serve with bread or garlic bread.
Disclaimer: Using more than a 1/4 cup of wine may make you drunk.