Italian-american meatballs

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time40 mins
  • DifficultyEasy

For the meatballs

2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
225g minced pork
225g minced vea mince
225g minced beef
50g plus 15g grated Parmesan
50g plus 15g grated Pecorino Romano
25g chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp olive oil, divided

For the Marinara sauce

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2.4kg whole, peeled, tinned tomatoes in puree, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cooked spaghetti to serve
1)For the Meatballs: Grate the bread or pulse into crumbs in a food processor. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl and add 85ml cold water. Add the pork, veal, beef, Parmesan, Pecorino, parsley, onion, garlic, egg, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix until combined.

2) Using your hands, gently form the meat mixture into 18 slightly larger than golf ball-sized balls. (Packing the meat mixture too tightly together will result in tough meatballs). Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 24.

3) Meanwhile make the Marinara sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 mins.

4) Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

To cook the Matballs: Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 6 mins. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Drain the oil and wipe out the pan, return to the heat, and repeat with the remaining oil and meatballs.

5) Drain and wipe out the skillet again. Return all the meatballs to the skillet and pour in the marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, shaking the pan occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through about 15 mins. The cheese in the meat balls will start to melt when the meatballs are ready. Serve immediately with spaghetti.

Cook's Note: These meatballs can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to 6 weeks.

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