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Friday, March 20, 2015

Italian Meatballs


    1 lb of 80% lean hamburger (You want the fat to keep moist and for flavor)
    1 lb of Italian sausage (I use Fareway’s homemade)
    ½ cup of ricotta cheese
    ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
    ½ cup Panko bread crumbs (I love this Japanese product. I can even find it here)
    4 tsp. chopped shallots
    4 tsp. chopped garlic
    2 egg
    Good pinch of Salt and pepper
    Put all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Rub your hands with olive oil and mix ingredients well. Also oil your hands well before forming the meatballs. Form meatballs the size of a golf ball. Put the meat balls in a pan with marinara sauce. The sauce should just about cover ½ the meatball. Add a little water in the sauce so it does not dry out. 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 grated Parmesan 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 a great appetizer at a party, a grinder sandwich or serve 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
    1 clove garlic
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    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 thickens add a little water.
    Make extra and any sauce you don’t use freeze it. It freezes beautifully. I put it in baggies. In the fall, I use my tomatoes from the garden and peal them and make this sauce. Deseed the tomatoes and crush them with your hands. I also use me basil from my garden. Rule of thumb is you use twice as much fresh as dried.
    You have my permission to make it easy on yourself and buy a good store bought bottle of sauce. Always be good to yourself and do it your way.
    Tomorrow my last meatball recipe. Serving up a recipe of Swedish meatballs.

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