When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore! Sorry, don’t you just have to sing Italian when eating/cooking Italian? We like to listen to Mob Hits & Louis Prima in our house when we do! With that said, this recipe was really yummy! I have never bothered to follow a meatball recipe. They all seemed kind of plain… so I would “wing it” each time. I’ve never had really bad results.. sometimes they are really delicious, however they come out different every time I make them. Sometimes they are too wet, some too dry, some too much flavor, some not enough you get the idea. This recipe was awesome! Even with the substitution I made (I used 1 lb pork instead of 1/2 pork and 1/2 veal, since my grocery store over here didn’t have veal) it was excellent. I’ll definitely keep this recipe around and keep it in mind when I want to make sauce. I would probably double the recipe for the sauce as it didn’t make that much… Also, I ended up with a lot more meatballs then expected. I probably just made them too small…. Oh well, we’ll definitely have these again!
Oh yeah, the other “tweaks” I made: I had to season my own breadcrumbs since they don’t sell them over here. I added garlic powder and onion powder and Italian seasoning to the crumbs. Not sure how much, I just eyeballed it.
Also, I don’t fry (at least when it’s not necessary), and I didn’t feel it was necessary for this recipe. I used instead @ 2 tablespoons of olive oil and olive oil cooking spray as needed.
And, I used extra lean ground beef and extra lean ground pork for the meatballs but they were still juicy and flavorful. I think that is it on my “tweaks”.
Here is the recipe:
Real Meatballs and Spaghetti
Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Ina Garten
For the Meatballs:
- 1/2 lb ground veal (I couldn’t get veal so I did 1 lb of pork )
- 1/2 lb ground pork (see above)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
- 1/2 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 extra-large egg, beaten
- Vegetable oil
- Olive oil
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
- Freshly grated Parmesan
How to pull it all together:
- Place the grounds meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
- Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oils but don’t clean the pan.
- For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25-30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.