Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Top Of Spaghetti

Some of my very good, and longtime friends, the Grassi’s and the Perfetti’s, come from some serious Italian heritage. When I say serious, I mean serious! I’m talking, macaroni and gravy every Friday kind of serious. Homemade, award-winning wine, out of the custom wine cellar, kind of serious.  

Why they decided to let me into their tight knit group is beyond me, but let me tell you, I’ll never complain. They feed me well, they are as loyal as can be, and always greet me with a kiss on the cheek and a glass of wine!  

Through the years, they’ve taught me a lot about love as well as a thing or two about Italian cuisine, as if you can separate the two. 

Here is a recipe for some serious, melt in your mouth, make your mama proud meatballs.  

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (try not to use curly parsley, it is not as flavorful as flat leaf)
4 slices of white bread, crusts removed and processed in the blender
½ cup milk
1 pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork or lamb
1 egg
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, fresh is always best
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 jars good quality jarred sauce (you don’t have to use jarred, if you prefer, you can make it from scratch)

  • Heat a couple passes of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and parsley and cook approximately 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Set pan aside to cool.
  • Place processed fresh bread crumbs in a bowl and pour milk over them and set aside. I realize this sounds a bit different, but think about the concept of adding dried breadcrumbs to something, it can’t help but suck all the moisture out of it, rather than ADD moisture…and you just had an “aha moment.” You’re welcome.
  • Combine beef, pork (or lamb), egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese then season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the bread cubes to get rid of excess milk and add to the meat mixture along with the cooled onions. Combine all ingredients and shape into 15 meatballs (this is gauged by my hands, if you have smaller or larger hands, of course you will have more or less meatballs).
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce (uncooked) and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Serve however you would like. You can eat them alone, make a meatball sub or serve over nice thick homemade spaghetti, my personal favorite!!!  
Tasty Tidbit: Following the logic that everyone is Irish on St. Patricks Day, I think everyone who cooks Italian food while listening to old “blue eyes” cooks better. Well, it can’t hurt! Download some of these classic Frank Sinatra songs to accompany you in the kitchen for this meal:

Come Fly With Me
I Get a Kick Out of You
I’ve Got The World On a String
My Funny Valentine
From Here To Eternity
Young at Heart


1 comment:

  1. Love this recipe. I haver never had such moist meat balls.