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.