Monday, November 21, 2011

My Italian Meatballs

This one is a bit of work, but not too much and definitely worth it.  Months ago I was googling for the perfect Italian meatball recipe and who would have thought that about 170 different middle aged Italian women claim that theirs is the best.  So I spent the last hour at work one afternoon (sorry Kenya!) combining a few different recipes and coming up with something pretty great on my own. 

I do make a double batch and freeze half so that next time I get a hankering I can just pull a container out of the freezer and Boom! dinner is done. That and it's easier to buy 16 ounces of meat than 8. *wink

16 ounces ground beef
16 ounces italian sausage (last time I used Hot sausage and I will say I don't think they were as good)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
6 Tablespoons red wine (I use Zinfindel)
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
1 cup seasoned italian breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese (I use Kraft shredded parmesan)
1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon dried basil

Start with beating the eggs in a small bowl, then add in the red wine and tomato paste.  Set this bowl aside.

Place the beef and sausage in a large bowl and blend with your hands.  Then add the breadcrumbs and the rest of the dry ingredients. After that is thoroughly mixed, add in the egg mixture from earlier. 

If the mixture seems a little wet, add some more breadcrumbs a few Tablespoons at a time.  If the mixture seems dry, add more tomato paste.

I then just use my hands to roll the mixture into balls and place them on a non-stick cookie sheet.  Pop them in the over at 400 degrees.  Let them cook for 10 minutes.  Then turn them and cook for another 10 minutes.

I then put the meatballs into a large pot with my red sauce and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.  This really adds to the flavor for both the meatballs and the sauce. I use Rao's Marinara Sauce.  Unbeknownest to me the first time I purchased it, it runs like $7 a bottle!  But it is seriously the best sauce I've ever had.  They carry it at both Wal-Mart and Target.

To help cut down on costs I usually use a bottle of Rao's and then add a bottle of Ragu's Super Chunky Mushroom. 

Then I serve with angel hair pasta and a little monzarella and parmesan.  Dinner is served!

If Evelyn loves it, you should love it.  I did take her dress off before we ate that night.


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