California Central Coast Recipes
Italian-American Meatballs-Romantic Table Style
Oh there's nothing like a good meatball -loaded with the freshest of ingredients, lightly browned, then simmered in a good Basic Marinara Sauce until the flavors meld! This is Italian Mama cooking at its best! When you're hungry- just like pizza - Spaghetti and Meatballs is always a welcome favorite that pleases everyone. Here's my recipe.
Please see my blog for more meatball secrets: Italian-American Meatballs -Always a Crowd Pleaser!
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 pounds ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1 to 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Italian parsley ,chopped and loosely packed
4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil
2 medium onions , skinned and chopped
3 to 4 medium cloves Garlic , chopped
2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh Oregano or
1 t. dried Oregano
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked Black pepper
One recipe Basic Marinara Sauce
3 pounds Spaghetti pasta
1 Using fresh French bread or Shepherds bread, chop into fresh breadcrumbs (a food processor is ideal!).
2 In a large frying pan, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and heat to hot. Add in chopped onion and simmer until slightly golden and softened. Add in chopped garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Remove from heat and let cool.
3 In a large mixing bowl. combine ground beef and pork together until evenly distributed. Add in onion mixture, mix, bread crumbs and mix, eggs and mix, oregano and mix, Parmesan cheese and mix, salt and pepper. Continue to add in more bread crumbs as needed until still moist but holds a shape.
4 When the ingredients are mixed well and fragrant, add in the Italian parsley and mix thoroughly to distribute evenly. Form into two-inch meatballs. Set aside.
5 In the same frying pan you fried the onion-garlic, add a little olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add meatballs and turn while cooking to lightly brown on all sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
6 In the meantime, have a large stockpot going with either a Basic Marinara Sauce or a Basic Homemade Tomato Sauce . When sauce is hot, add in meatballs and bring to simmer. When up to a strong simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for at least an hour, occasionally carefully stirring and picking up from the stockpot's bottom to distribute evenly.
7 When ready to serve, prepare the pasta. Put a large stockpot of hot water on the stove and bring to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water, stir and then add the pasta. Stir the water again and bring to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente or as directed on the package.
8 When the pasta is done, drain it well and portion out onto dinner plates. Add sauce and a few meatballs for each person on each plate of pasta. Or serve family-style in a big serving bowl by adding sauce to all the pasta then topping the sauced pasta mound with the meatballs. Be sure to have plenty of Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes on the table for guests to top their pasta off with.
9 Complete this festive and fun meal with some garlic bread and a nice green salad.
Serve with a hearty red wine such as a young Sangiovese or a simple Italian Chianti.