The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

2 slices white sandwich bread
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 pound (80% lean) ground beef
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
4 cups tomato sauce (see quick tomato sauce recipe)
1 pound spaghetti

  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Meanwhile, remove and discard the crusts from the bread, then tear the bread into small pieces. Mash the bread pieces and buttermilk to a smooth paste in a large bowl, using a fork.
  3. Add the beef, Parmesan, parsley, yolk, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the mashed bread. Stir the mixture gently until combined and uniform. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch, round meatballs. (about 14 meatballs)
  4. Pour oil into a skillet until it measures a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until nicely browned on all sides (about 10 minutes). Transfer the meatballs to a paper-towel-lined plate and discard any oil left in the skillet.
  5. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and add the meatballs. Continue to simmer about 5 minutes.
  6. While the meatballs are simmering, add 1 teaspoon salt and the speghetti to the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the spaghetti is tender, but is still firm to the bite.
  7. Drain the speghetti and return to the pot. Stir in several large spoonfuls of the tomato sauce (without meatballs) and toss to coat.
    Serve, topping each serving with more tomato sauce and several meatballs.