Homemade Italian Meatballs
If you have been looking for the perfect meatball, your search is over. If you haven't been searching but are in the mood for some meatballs, try these. You will never have to search. You get the point. I was browsing through my Pinterest feed one day, and suddenly, I came across this recipe for homemade Italian meatballs.
I wasn't even looking for a meatball recipe but it just so happened to pop up in my feed. Kinda like it was meant to happen. Like our paths were destined to cross. Okay, before you think I have really gone off the deep end, this delicious recipe from Recipe Tin Eats is the real deal!
Moist, delicious, packed with flavor, and they keep well in the freezer! So, I found this recipe or did it find me.. okay, okay - I saw this recipe and decided to make it a couple of days later. Two main reasons for the juiciness of these meatballs - grated onion and fresh bread not breadcrumbs. There you have it! Well, not quite. So, here's the recipe:
For the meatballs
1 cup of sliced white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces, crusts removed
1/2 cup grated onion (I used yellow onions but you can use brown, white or yellow - whatever is available. DO NOT skip this step.)
14 ounces ground beef
3 ounces ground pork
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (I used regular old Parmesan from a bottle with a green plastic lid)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
For the sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
24 ounces tomato puree
1/4 cup water
3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place the bread and onion in a large bowl. Mix well to combine, so the onion juice soaks the bread.
Add all the remaining meatball ingredients except the olive oil. Use your hands to mix well. Once blended well, measure out a heaped tablespoon and roll lightly to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture. (This makes quite a few meatballs, so I just used what I needed for dinner, and froze the rest.)
Heat the olive oil in the large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Adjust this according to your stove top. Add the meatballs and brown all over - about 5 minutes. (I tried to turn them over with tongs and ended up with some funny-shaped meatballs. I still ate them. But if you want perfectly or close to perfectly round meatballs, the trick is to just shake the pan gently and roll them around.)
When they are all browned but fully cooked through, transfer them to a plate and set aside. Then, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan, add the onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes till translucent. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Turn down the heat to medium low once it starts to simmer.
Gently transfer the meatballs into the sauce. Cook them for about 10 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
While the meatballs are cooking, cook your pasta. I am a bit partial to penne rigate and seem to have more of this around than regular spaghetti. Once done and drained, serve the meatballs on the pasta, garnish with Parmesan and parsley.
Never go back to store-bought meatballs.