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Friday, October 10, 2008

Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

In the past I've made these in the oven and that is a very easy and good way to make them (and a slightly different recipe). But, if you have the time I highly recommend using the stove top method - and this recipe (adapted from a recipe in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Here it is:

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 T onion, chopped very finely
1 T parsley, chopped
1 egg
1 T EV olive oil
3 T grated parmesan cheese
dash of ground nutmeg
dashes of salt and pepper
more oil for sauteing
1 can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped up, with their juice

In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, bread crumbs, oniob, parsley, edd, 1 T olive oil, parmesan chese, nutmet, and salt and pepper well. Use your hands or a sturdy spoon - but don't squeeze the meat.

When well mixed, gently shape into balls about 1 in in diameter. You can roll them in more bread crumbs, if you wish. I skip this, though.

In a large saute pan, heat enough oil to come up 1/4 of an inch on the sides - on a med. high heat. When the oil is hot, gently place the meatballs in the oil one at a time. Be careful not to splash the oil. Brown them on all sides (turkey will not "brown", it will get a little golden) - but turn them carefully so they don't break apart.

When done, remove the pan from the heat and tip it slightly. With a spoon, remove as much of the oil as you can. Return the pan to the heat (medium heat) and add the chopped tomatoes - give the pan a pinch salt and a grinding or two of pepper. Gently turn the meatballs to coat them in the sauce. Cover the pan and cook at a very gentle simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Serve alone, over rice or pasta (our preferred way).

These are excellent made ahead of time and then reheated before serving. They also make a great freezer meal.

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