How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grate onion using large holes of a box grater onto a double layer of paper towels (to absorb some of the liquid—no need to squeeze dry). Combine grated onion, potato flakes, cheese, cream, eggs, chopped oregano, grated garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper in a large bowl, stirring well to break up any clumps of potato. Add pork and beef to potato mixture. Mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into 32 meatballs (about 2 rounded tablespoonfuls each), and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low. Add sliced garlic and red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juices, and stir, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon (or pull from the can and squish each one through your fingers as I do). Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon salt, oregano sprigs, basil sprigs, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Gently stir in meatballs.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, and drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce; toss gently to coat, adding reserved pasta water as needed to reach desired consistency. (Or serve pasta and sauce separately, if that’s the way your family likes it.) Top servings with additional cheese and, if desired, torn basil.