Monday, June 26, 2006

Meatballs with Tomatoes

This doesn't seem much like a summer recipe, but these meatballs are fast, versatile, and so flavorful. I ate these with just the sauce, though they'd be good in subs, on pasta, or sliced on a pizza. Based on Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and my mom's recipe for meatballs/meatloaf. Thanks to my friend for reminding me of this. I used turkey instead of ground beef, and you really couldn't tell the difference (which is rare, IMO.) Meatballs with Tomatoes (4 servings) 2 slices bread (I used oatmeal bread, but whatever is fine) 1/3 c milk 1 lb ground beef (or turkey) 1 Tbs onion or shallots, grated 1 Tbs chopped parsley 1 egg 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbs freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese pinch of ground sage, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper 1-2 tsp tomato paste fine, dry unflavored breadcrumbs, spread on a plate (I ground up those mini toast crackers) olive oil 1 cup fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I used a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes with basil) 1. Put the milk and bread into a small bowl and allow to soak for at least 10 min., then mush the bread up into small pieces with your hands (or use a fork, if you'd rather not get messy yet.) 2. In a bowl put the chopped meat, onion/shallot, parsley, egg, olive oil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and the bread and milk mixture. Gently knead the mixture with your hands. When all the ingredients are evenly combined, shape it gently and without squeezing into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the balls lightly in the breadcrumbs. 3. Choose a sauté pan that can subsequently accommodate all the meatballs in a single layer (or do it in two batches, as I did). Pour in a small amount of olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn on the heat to medium high and when the oil is hot, slip in the meatballs. Brown the meatballs on all sides. 4. When the meatballs are done, add the chopped tomatoes with their juice (or the canned tomatoes), a pinch of salt and turn the meatballs over once or twice to coat them well. Cover the pan and adjust the heat to cook at a quiet, but steady simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and correct for salt.

5 comments:

Stephanie Trahd said...

Hi KT. . .the meatballs sound delicious. Have you tried freezing them? I'd like to make them for company, but would like to do it ahead of time if possible! Thanks for a great blog,
Stephanie

Kt said...

Hi Stephanie!

I haven't tried freezing these, but I've frozen other meatballs, and they've been fine. I'm thinking maybe freeze them after coating them with breadcrumbs? You could do all mixing and shaping ahead of time, freeze them on a cookie sheet (so they don't stick together ... when they're hard you can throw them in a ziploc bag), and when you're ready, defrost them. Then all you have to do is saute them (which took very little time) and pour in the tomatoes. Using the canned tomatoes made it even easier ... so then all you'd have to do is relax while they simmered. :)

Sara said...

I love meatballs. I didn't realize Marcella had a recipe for them.

Kt said...

You should make these. Esp. since I'm not bringing any over to your office. You are welcome to come over to my place, however ... if you have a boat.

Stephanie Trahd said...

Thanks KT. . .I think I'll try to freeze some uncooked and some cooked just to see which ones turn out better.

I'll try to remember to let you know how they turn out :) (Sometimes the memory isn't as good as it used to be!) Thanks for sharing,
Stephanie