H made the sauce, and I made the meatballs, and then we had a lovely get-together. The sauce was a crock-pot deal: the night before, H sauteed onions, garlic, minced celery and carrots, and minced mushrooms, and then food-processored them for ultra-fineness and dropped them in the crockpot. Then it was a few cans of dixed tomatoes, at least one of which was fire-roasted, some more garlic, a little red pepper, salt, pepper, and the dry herbs-- basil, oregano and chili powder. Then it was hours of taunting me because the kitchen is next to my room. The next day, sometime before dinner, he got fresh basil and rosemary from the yard and threw them in, and adjusted the seasoning.
Meanwhile, about three hours before dinner, I made the meatballs, much the way I make them for Swedish Meatballs, like so: The meat, about two pounds, went into the bowl, while a cup of Italian breadcrumbs soaked in about as much milk, and I sauteed minced onions and garlic-- then both go in with the milk, an egg, salt, pepper, basil and oregano, and get all mushed together by hand until they're blended evenly. I made the meatballs pretty big and out them on a cookie sheet and left them in the fridge to firm up ( I think the milky breadcrumbs AND the egg were too moist, but they turned out fine after I let them sit ). Preheated the oven to 350, then baked the meatballs until they were done through, and dropped them into the sauce to mingle while the noodles and garlic bread cooked.
Then there was much nomming. Om nom nom all over the place.
The meatballs were done that day, but the sauce lasted for three days as leftovers, and was great as a dipping sauce for the leftover bread. Plus, we jarred some to use later. Brilliant!