Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Italian Meatballs

4 servings

1 tsp canola oil
1-1/2 slices whole wheat bread, stale or day-old
2 cups My Mother's Tomato Sauce (below)
40 g mortadella sausage or ham, finely chopped
1 tbsp marjoram, fresh, finely chopped
1 large egg
400 g lean ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp bread crumbs

These meatballs can be either baked in the oven or fried. If using baking method preheat the oven to 400F and lightly oil a baking dish. If frying, prehead peanut oil to 350F in an electric fryer or large skillet.

Put the bread slices in a small bowl then cover them with water. Let soak 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make tomato sauce.

Drain the bread well in a sieve, then squeeze it to remove most of the liquid. Finely chop the bread and add it to a bowl. Finely chop the mortadella and marjoram, then add them to the bowl. Add the egg and ground beef, followed by salt and pepper.

Using your hands, blend the mixture together until it is just combined well. Form the mixture into small balls (about the size of golf balls), then flatten them slightly and coat them with the bread crumbs. Plan on about 3-4 meatballs per serving.

Baking: Transfer the meatballs to the previously oiled dish, then cook in the middle of the overn 12-15 minutes until they are golden-brown, turning them once. Deep-frying: Working in batches, deep-fry the meatballs about 4-5 minutes per side until they are golden-brown, then set them on paper towels to drain.

Transfer the meatballs ot the pan with the tomato sauce then continue to cook 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat, turning them once. Serve the meatballs with the sauce.

I served these yummy meatballs with pasta . . . of course . . .

These meatballs may be served at room temperature. They are ideal for a picnic, served with a few slices of bread.

www.soscuisine.com

My Mother's Tomato Sauce

makes 2-1/2 cups

1-2/3 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

A food processor to chop the vegetables and a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time would make things easier with this recipe.

Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.

Heat the oil and butter in the pressure cooker or in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times; the vegetables must soften without burning. Add the diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

If you are using a pressure cooker, cover, close and bring to high pressure. Cook 15 minutes from the time it starts to spatter (Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine when high pressure has been reached. If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.

This sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze larger quantities.