Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Authentic Meatballs

extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
2 large eggs
1 cup grated parmigiano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup water

marinara sauce

Preparing the meatballs:
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, parmigiano, parsley and bread crumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do one final really good squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The mixture should taste really good. If it doesn't it is probably missing salt. Add more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Shape the meat slightly larger than golf balls. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to a big pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, they can be frozen for later use. Serve with pasta and sauce, or alone as hors d'oeuvres.

Makes 18 to 20 meatballs


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