Making perfect meatballs is an art form.  First of all, everyone has their own preference on how they like meatballs.  Second, most people just want “nonna’s meatballs”.  Fair enough.  We both LOVE our grandmothers’ meatballs, too.

I like meatballs every way and any way.  Fried or baked.  Meat or chicken.  Now that there’s snow on the ground, it makes me want to go revert to what I know … spaghetti & meatballs.

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This recipe is great because it’s comfort food, minus all the extra calories of frying.

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chop meat – preferably a mixture of beef and pork (if possible, a mixture of beef, veal, and pork)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large handful of parsley, chopped

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 jar or large can of tomatoes – fresh if possible
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Open a jar of tomatoes – there’s nothing like fresh, but canned is fine!

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In a large pot, sauté the chopped clove of garlic and red pepper on medium-low heat for about 2 minutes until the garlic is tender.

Add the tomatoes into the pot.  Season with kosher salt & pepper to taste.  Stir thoroughly.  Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together (with your hands) the chopped meat, 1 egg, 1 handful chopped parsley, and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.  Add a little salt & pepper – remember, the breadcrumbs has some seasoning in them already.

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Drizzle with a little olive oil and mix thoroughly until all the ingredients have fused together.  It should look like this…

Check on the sauce and give it a stir.  Some of the liquids should start to disappear.

Using your hands, make small or medium sized balls out of the meat mixture.  It really depends on how you like them.  Line in a baking dish and sprinkle with a drop more of olive oil and salt.

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Bake the meatballs on 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, take them out and scoop a little sauce on top of each one.  Put back in the oven on 425 degrees F for another 20 minutes.

Cook your pasta.

DSC_0017 Add the pasta into the sauce and let simmer for about a minute.  Take the meatballs out of the oven and serve on top.

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Mangia!

-Jeff