Monday, June 11, 2012

Italian Meatball

Going Italian today with meatballs.  You can do so many things with them.  The big decision will be what is for supper. 

Italian Meatball 

1 lb of 80% lean hamburger (fat = flavor)
1 lb of  good Italian sausage (Don't eat pork, then just use beef)
½  cup of ricotta cheese
½  cup of Parmesan cheese
½  cup Panko bread crumbs
4 tsp. thinly sliced shallots
4 tsp minced garlic
2 egg
Good pinch of Salt and pepper

Saute your shallots and garlic in a pan for.  Put all of the above ingredients in a bowl and add your shallots and garlic.  Rub your hands with olive oil and mix all of the ingredients well with your hands, but do not over mix.  Also oil your hands well before forming the meatballs. Form meatballs no bigger than the size of a golf ball.  Put the meat balls in a pan with a good marinara sauce. The sauce should just about cover ½ the meatball.     Cook on medium low for 15 minutes and then turn meat ball.  Add a little more water to keep from drying out.  Sauté them until done all the way through.  Serve with more parmesan grated cheese on top.   Makes about 16 meatballs.

Want a little heat?  Crush a few pepper flakes in the palm of your hand and add it to the meat mixture.   

These are great as an appetizer at a party, a grinder sandwich or served with any pasta.  Serve it with a simple crusty garlic bread if you are serving it with pasta.  

Homemade Marinara Sauce

2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic for a minute.  Add the other ingredients.  

Simmer for 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally.  The longer you simmer the more the tomatoes break down and the better the sauce.  I don’t like to be in a hurry when cooking Italian.  As the sauce thicken add a little water. 

If you want, make extra.  It freezes beautifully.  I put it in baggies to freeze it.  In the fall, I use my tomatoes from the garden, scald them and peal them and make this sauce.  Deseed the tomatoes and crush them with your hands.  I also use my fresh oregano, parsley and basil from my garden.  It can also be canned.  Get out your trusty Kerr canning book or go back in my blog and see my tomato chapter. 

You have my permission to make it easy on yourself and buy a good store bought bottle of sauce to save time and mess.  Always be good to yourself and do it your way.  Being retired, I enjoy standing at the stove and simmering sauce.  

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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