Friday, March 4, 2011

Barefoot Contessa's Meatballs

Meatballs are considered to be an Italian dish. We're had meatballs back home, but they are way different from their namesake here (which is usually an Italian version). I haven't actually tasted an authentic Italian meatball yet, but I'd like to think that tonight's dinner is somewhat close.

Since I lost my job, I've been going to sleep way too late, and waking up midday. Today, however, my cat woke me up earlier than usual with her hysterical cries. I thought something was wrong, but she was just bored and needed attention. As soon as she got my attention she attacked my feet, where I now have a huge scratch. Well I couldn't sleep after that, so I turned on the TV, where Ina Garten was preparing a meatball and spaghetti dish for her boss. I immediately called my mom to ask her to get me needed ingredients after work, and took notes. Meatballs from scratch is not a difficult task, as I used to think. Delicious and easy = repeat recipe for life.

Adapted from Ina Garten's Meatballs and Spaghetti.
Yields 6-8 servings

For the meatballs:
1 lb of ground beef (80/20)
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup grated parm
1 tbs salt
1tbs ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the sauce:
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1/3 cup wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 can (2lbs) crushed tomatoes

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs together with your clean hands. Be thorough.

2. Heat a mix of olive oil and vegetable oil in a pan. Form balls with your hands in and them in the hot skillet. Work in batches, about 8 balls per batch. Brown them on each side and place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels.

3. Get rid of the oil from the pan, and add a little bit of fresh olve oil. Keep the bits and pieces of meat. Throw in the onions and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes.

4. Add garlic to the pan. After about a minute pour in the wine to de-glaze the pan on high heat. Let it reduce.
5. Open up your crushed tomatoes and dump them right into the pan. Add parsley, any additional seasonings you like, and mix everything together.
6. Put the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

7. Serve hot over pasta with more parmesan.

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