This recent post by Sarah Grey on Serious Eats about Friday night meatball dinners has been making its way around the Internet. And for good reason. For many of us having more time to relax with friends and family is a high priority, but one that usually gets pushed aside. For those of us lucky enough to live near good friends a night together feels like a luxury. Although I live within minutes of two of my best friends, we can go weeks without seeing each other. So, when I saw this post I immediately emailed it to them and suggested we give it a go. One of my wise friends suggested we aim for the first Friday of the month, rather than every Friday, and move the dinner around so that each of us host on a monthly basis.

And so, a couple of Fridays ago we began what I hope is a long-standing tradition. I hosted the first of our dinners and as Sarah Grey suggests, the dinner was open to outside guests. Along with friends, and a boyfriend we were joined by my friend’s parents who were visiting from out of town. Seven of us, plus Eliza on my husband’s lap, squeezed around our tiny dining room table in a our small Brooklyn apartment and had a blast. Showing our age and station in life, the night started by 6pm and we were cleaning up by 9pm. The time together was the perfect way to end the week and I can’t wait for next month!

Friday Dinners

For the kick-off I prepared a real Brooklyn meal – Sunday Gravy, or in this case, Friday Gravy.

Sunday Gravy – Serves 8

Sunday Gravy

olive oil
8 sweet or hot Italian sausage
8 meatballs
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
handful of basil
2 TB. tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 – 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes + 1 -14.5 ounce can
2 boxes linguine

In a large pot with a heavy bottom, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Brown sausages on all sides – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pot and put aside for later. Repeat with the meatballs.

In the same pot, saute garlic and basil for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomato paste and water and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes to the pot and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Lower to a simmer and cover pot, leaving a portion of the pot uncovered, and cook for approximately 2 hours.

About an hour before you are going to eat add sausage and meatballs to the sauce and continue to simmer.

Cook linguine (or spaghetti – whatever you like) according to the directions on the box.

Remove sausage and meatballs and put them on a platter. Toss pasta with sauce and serve.

Mangia!