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Thread: Looking for a good Italian meatballs recipe

  1. #1
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    Looking for a good Italian meatballs recipe

    I'm in the mood for a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs. I have some San Marzano tomatos that I'm going to make a simple marinara from and I have a source for some pretty good pasta locally. I just don't know how to make good Italian meatballs.

    Any help?

  2. #2
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    Kyle, that's like asking a room full of New Yorkers for a Chinese restaurant recommendation. Everyone knows the best one.

    The South Philly Italians I know use 1/3 pork, veal and beef with grated cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, parsley and so forth.

    I make something like this but haven't measured in years:

    1 lb ground pork
    1 lb ground beef
    1.5 cup bread crumbs regular or Italian
    1 large onion minced
    3/4 -1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
    1/8 cup chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried,
    4-6 cloves minced garlic
    2 eggs
    1 tbs salt
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    flour
    olive oil

    Don't over-mix, dust with flour and fry. Or else bake, my preferred method.

    Either way pour the drippings into the gravy (sauce). If you want, cook the meat balls 3/4 done and finish in the gravy.

    Put some soul into it; people notice.

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    I might get lambasted for saying this:
    Meatballs are just meatloaf. Ground meat, bound with eggs, bulked with breadcrumbs. Choose your seasonings. My advice: Don't over think it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    I might get lambasted for saying this:
    Meatballs are just meatloaf. Ground meat, bound with eggs, bulked with breadcrumbs. Choose your seasonings. My advice: Don't over think it.
    no ketchup too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    I might get lambasted for saying this:
    Meatballs are just meatloaf. Ground meat, bound with eggs, bulked with breadcrumbs. Choose your seasonings. My advice: Don't over think it.
    I've had really delicious meatballs and I've had some awfully boring meatballs, I'm trying to avoid the boring variety!

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    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    I might get lambasted for saying this:
    Meatballs are just meatloaf. Ground meat, bound with eggs, bulked with breadcrumbs. Choose your seasonings. My advice: Don't over think it.
    We like minced garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper, olive oil, red wine, and fresh basil in ours. Baked, then put in the pot (YES, include the drippings!)

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    In my family we also browned in a pan, then did the bulk of the cooking in the sauce. They don't really reach full potential until the second day in the sauce.

    We always made with just ground beef, but probably because ground pork and ground veal was not readily available. With that being said, veal is a little mild for me, so I'd rather just use ground beef and ground pork.

    The two sides of the family were split between bread and bread crumbs; I usually opt for bread soaked in a little milk.

    My basic recipe is ground beef/ pork, egg, soaked bread, salt, dried parsley, pepper and parmigiano. Can add garlic salt/ powder or real sauteed garlic (but usually the sauce brings the garlic flavor). Brown in a pot, preferrably in grease from the hot and sweet italian sausages you already browned, then get the tomato sauce going in the pot and add the sausages and meatballs. Simmer for, oh I dunno, two to three weeks And to make the meatballs even better, add some pork ribs to the sauce as well
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

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    Roll mixture of choice into balls, drop into simmering sauce and let them cook. Perfect consistency, and no dry, tough outer part that frying or baking creates.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pensacola Tiger View Post
    Roll mixture of choice into balls, drop into simmering sauce and let them cook. Perfect consistency, and no tasty caramelization that frying or baking creates.
    Fixed that for ya, Rick. :P

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    You two did hit on a good bone of contention. My preference these days is to lightly brown. Too heavy, and you toughen the meatball exterior as well as reduce the ability to absorb the sauce. In my (non-professional) opinion a light fry/ browning is a must for a bit of extra flavor -- rolling and dropping straight into the sauce looses a dimension of flavor.
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