In truth, the iconic red sauce meatball—one of the foundational foods of Italian cuisine in the U.S.—has more to do with the New World than Naples. Its development, and its influence on what Italian-American cuisine would become in the U.S., is inextricably tied to New York City. This is the city where Italian-American became American, and where the meatball as we know it began.
Yet Italians have been making meatballs since the days of ancient Rome. So why does today's red sauce version look so unlike the meatballs you'll find in Italy?
If you’ve got an Italian heritage, and you’re from New York City, you should read this.