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Italian Meatballs

Let’s start by saying Italian Meatballs in Italy NEVER touch pasta. They’re a separate course among the main courses. Traditionally a larger size, these classic Italian-American style meatballs are huge and pillowy soft. Served with a traditional tomato sauce, topped with cheese and packed with herbs, this baseball-sized meatball is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face around the dinner table. Ok, ok, you don’t need to make them baseball-sized, the most important thing to remember is not to rush the process. Oh and only use egg yolks; not whole eggs - trust me on this one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground beef, the more fat content the better. We used 80/20
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 slices of white bread with crust removed
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce.
 

DIRECTIONS

 

  1. Heat the milk in a small Swiss Diamond sauce pan until just starting to steam. Do not bring to a boil. Tear the bread into little pieces and soak it in the milk until it partially dissolves. Mash it until you get something that resembles a paste. Turn it onto a plate to let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan, eggs, salt, parsley, oregano, black pepper, garlic cloves and the bread/milk mixture. Mix well with your hands until it barely combines. Don’t overmix as you’ll make the meatballs tough.
  3. Wet your hands and form the meatballs. A traditional size for this sort of meatball is 2-3" across, but you can make them any size you like.
  4. When all the meatballs are formed, heat olive oil in a large Swiss Diamond skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on at least two sides. Don't worry about the center getting cooked through as you will finish these in the sauce.
  5. Once all the meatballs are browned, pour in your tomato sauce. Turn the meatballs to ensure they’re covered in sauce. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the sauce and crusty bread; NOT OVER PASTA. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley for garnish if you like.