The weather in New England can be cool and rainy in the spring, hot and humid in the summer, dry and comfortable in the fall and downright chilly in the winter. Those changes in the weather influence what I eat and as it gets colder in New England, I’m eating less salads and looking for comfort food like my family recipe for meatballs.
This is very much a “hands on” meal to make so your hands will get messy. As a general rule, I make these one or two days ahead of time because they always taste better the next day. The recipe below should yield you approximately 12 good sized meatballs.
1.5 lbs meat (lean ground beef / ground veal / ground pork)
1 cup of sweet onion (chopped)
1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup of Italian parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup baby portobello mushrooms (chopped) (optional ingredient)
1/4 cup of water
1 tsp of salt, pepper and Italian seasonings
I substitute the ground veal and buy a third of a pound of 93% lean ground beef and a third of a pound of 80% lean ground beef. You can also purchase either spicy or sweet italian sausage for the pork – just remove the casing.
The directions to make meatballs may be messy but they are easy to follow.
- Start by preheating your oven to 350⁰
- Place ground beef into large mixing container
- Add the other ingredients (I start with the dry ingredients first)
- Kneed all the ingredients so everything is thoroughly combined
- Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes
- Hand roll individual meatballs (approx 1.5″ in diameter)
- Coat a frying pan with olive oil and when it is hot turn the heat down to medium / medium low (you don’t want hot oil splattering)
- Add a few meatballs at a time and roll around for 1-2 minutes to lightly cook – add to a plate with papertowels to absorb excess oil
- Add undercooked meatballs to a baking dish that has a light coating of tomato sauce (this helps prevent the meatballs from sticking)
- Top the meatballs with a little sauce and cover with aluminum foil
- Put into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes
- Turn off the oven and take out the meatballs, then sprinkle cheese and more choppped parsley
- Put back into the oven (which should be off) uncovered for 5 minutes
These meatballs are great with pasta but also make for a delicious meatball sandwich the next day and can easily be warmed up in the microwave.