Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Friday, April 4, 2008

What are Meatballs?

Is an odd question to hear from a five year old yet I heard it twice today. Once from Izzy when I told him what I was making for dinner and a second time from his friend I., who was joining us. I began to feel remiss with my meatball making because I have probably made them on average of once a year since Izzy started table food, which would mean he has probably eaten them only five times, if that.

Each time I make meatballs I am always surprised at how little time it actually takes and how simple they are to prepare. I hereby vow to make them more often, especially after tonight's success.

The two friends were so very absorbed in their meal, meatballs and sauce, plunked on top of plain spaghetti, old-school style. I haven't seen that since visiting some Italian restaurants when I was a kid but the vision came to me and I had to serve it that way. The meatball recipe, made with grass-fed beef, had an interesting addition, toasted pinenuts. You know I don't think I have ever made the same meatball recipe twice but I think this one might be a keeper.

My Mini Meatballs

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

2 cups torn day-old bread, crusts removed

1 1/2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup milk (I used goat)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, chopped

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

salt, pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp. of salt)

1. Soak bread in milk for 15 minutes. Squeeze out liquid.

2. Saute onion until very soft. Add garlic and cook for two more minutes.

2. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand.

4. For mixture into walnut sized balls. Sautee in batches in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until browned on all sides. Remove to drain and then continue to cook in tomato sauce of your choice. I used two cans of whole plum tomatoes, one onion, 2 cloves garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper.

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