Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let's take the "MEAT" out of Meatballs

I have several recipes but I will start with my childhood favorite -

Pallotte Cace e Ova (Cheese and Egg Balls)
Pallotte is dialect Abruzzese for Balls

Cheese balls in sauce




Country style bread






Ingredients

• 1 pound stale country-style bread , crusts removed and cut into thick slices
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 3 large eggs
• 1/2 cup grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, leaves chopped to yield 2 tablespoons
• 1 bunch basil, leaves chopped
• 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
• Salt and pepper
• 1 cup olive oil or vegetable
• 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows

Fried balls
 
Directions

In a large bowl add the bread slices and milk. Let sit until the bread is soaked through, then squeeze dry. Crumble and tear the soaked bread into smaller pieces and process in the food processor, using quick pulses, to yield 4 cups soaked crumbs.

Mix the crumbs in a bowl with the eggs, cheese, herbs, and garlic, adding salt and pepper, to taste. Form into round balls about 2 inches in diameter. Set aside on a rack or plate to dry for about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil to frying temperature, about 360 degrees F, and fry the bread balls until brown on all sides. Remove the balls as they brown and drain on a rack covered with paper towels. Have the tomato sauce ready. Arrange the balls on a platter and lightly cover with sauce. Serve immediately. 


Tomato Sauce:

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1  onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
• Parsley sprigs
• Basil sprigs
• Salt and black pepper

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, parsley and basil and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Other recipes to follow.

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