Italian foods and flavors have become a universal favorite. Risottos, pastas, and pizzas have found their way into other cuisines, not in their original form, but with the incorporation of local flavors. Authentic Italian meatball recipes are a labor of love, involving marination of the meat for 3 to 4 days in red wine. However, the more popular meatball and spaghetti recipes are an American take on the original recipe, which was seldom served with any type of pasta. These recipes are the closest to the original Italian polpette.
- Crushed garlic, 2 cloves
- Eggs, 2
- Ground beef, 2 pounds
- Fresh bread crumbs, 1 cup
- Finely grated Parmesan, ½ cup
- Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
- Chopped fresh parsley, 1 heaped tablespoon
- Chopped fresh basil, 1 heaped tablespoon
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper, ½ teaspoon
- The first step is to gently mix all the ingredients together, except olive oil, in a large bowl.
- Now, coat your palms with a thin layer of oil. Divide the mixture into about 16 portions or lesser if you desire for bigger meatballs.
- Take a single portion of the mixture and lightly roll it between your palms to form a ball.
- Repeat this with all the portions of the meat mixture.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Once the oil is slightly heated, gently slide in 3 to 4 meatballs at a time.
- Once they have browned well on one side, carefully turn them over.
- They are ready once they are brown all over. Take them out and repeat this process with the next batch.
- You may use them instantly or refrigerate them for later use.
Meatballs with Spaghetti
- Italian bread soaked in milk or water then squeezed dry, 3 slices
- Eggs, 2
- Crushed clove of garlic, 1
- Onion (chopped fine), ½ medium
- Ground pork, ½ pound
- Ground veal, ½ pound
- Ground beef, ½ pound
- Grated Pecorino romano cheese, ½ cup
- Parsley (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable oil
- Cloves of garlic (halved), 3
- Basil leaves, 2
- Plum tomatoes with puree (28 pound each) crushed, 2 cans
- Onion (chopped), ½ medium
- Spaghetti, 1 pound
- Olive oil, ⅓ cup
- Water, ¼ cup
- Oregano, ½ teaspoon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all the meatball ingredients, except oil, in a large bowl.
- You may knead the mixture with your hands to ensure that all the components mix well.
- Once this is done, make small balls of the mixture that are about 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Fill a large, wide pan with oil that will come a quarter of an inch up to the sides.
- Heat the oil and carefully add all the meatballs in it. Turn the meatballs so that all their surface areas get covered with oil.
- Now, heat the oven to 450ºF and place the pan in it.
- Keep an eye on them and take them out once they've turned brown on all sides.
- The tedious part of this recipe is accomplished once your meatballs are ready.
- To prepare the meatball gravy, begin by heating the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Put in the onions first and add the garlic after about 30 seconds.
- Continue stirring, till the onions turn translucent. At this point, quickly add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and water.
- Stir it well and bring it to a boil. Then, lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- At this point, add the meatballs and continue to let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Your meatballs and sauce are now ready.
- The last part of the process is to cook the spaghetti. To save time, you may boil water in a large pot while your sauce is still cooking.
- When the water is boiling, carefully put the spaghetti into it and add a tablespoon of salt.
- The spaghetti can be boiled on high heat till it is done, but a careful watch should be kept so that it does not get overcooked.
- Drain out the remaining water once it is ready. Your dish is now ready. You may serve the spaghetti separately or cover it with the meatballs and gravy.
Quick Party Meatballs
- Whole berry cranberry sauce, 1 can (16 pound)
- Barbecue sauce, 1 cup
- Use the first recipe to prepare the meatballs. Mix the barbecue sauce and whole berry cranberry sauce in a bowl.
- Place the meatballs in a saucepan and pour the sauce over them, coating them generously.
- Place the pan on a medium fire for 10 to 12 minutes. They can now be served as appetizers with toothpicks.
The last recipe is an easy American version of the traditional meatballs but yummy nonetheless. Whatever your choice, they are sure to leave you saying 'È squisito!'