A friend of mine told me she and a group of her cronies are heading up to Park River, N.D., on Sunday (Sept. 27) for the 35th Annual Lutefisk and Meatball Dinner at the Park River Bible Camp. Also on the menu are potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, veggies, cranberries, lefse, rolls, dessert and coffee.

I told her that everything looked pretty good, with maybe the exception of the lutefisk. Granted, a lot of folks love lutefisk, but I can take it or leave it. Meatballs, on the other hand, are one of my favorite foods. I particularily like them with spaghetti, although the Swedish-type come in a close second.

My favorite meatball recipe is in one of two Dom DeLuise cookbooks that I have. His Mamma’s Meatballs are great.

I recently came stumbled upon the following meatball recipe, from another Italian, actor Danny DeVito, which has a couple of different twists. DeVito uses the ground sirloin and mixes it with water-soaked bread for a lighter and fluffier meatballs, he says.

P.S. I understand tickets are hard to come by for the bible camp fundraiser. So, if you’re planning on going, give a call to Mary Weltz in Park River at (701) 284-7030 or Wayne Nygard in Edinburg, N.D., at (701) 993-8580 to see if there still are tickets available.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
2 slices whole wheat bread
½ pound lean ground sirloin
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
½ cup frozen chopped onion
2 tablespoons raisins
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup pasta sauce
4 ounces spaghetti
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, pour 1 cup water over bread and set aside. Place sirloin, garlic, sage, onion, raisins and egg in a bowl or food processor. Squeeze the bread dry and add it to the meat mixture; pulse or stir just to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 balls.
Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. Mix pasta sauce with ¾ cup water and add to pan. Simmer 10 minutes, carefully turning the meatballs once.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and divide between 2 plates. Top with meatballs and sauce.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 638 calories (27 percent from fat), 19.2 grams fat (4.4 grams saturated, 9.6 grams monounsaturated), 175 milligrams cholesterol, 39.4 grams protein, 76.2 grams carbohydrates, 6.5 grams fiber, 638 milligrams sodium.