still raining, but there are meatballs on the horizon!

Italian-style meatballs
Comfort food at its very best, these meatballs are loved by both adults and children. Fun to make too (and I find kids do like to get their little paws mucky helping to roll them). Yes, meatballs can take a little time to make and yes, a bit messy too. But they are well worth the time taken and besides, as well as making a little meat go a long way, make up enough of them and they freeze well too.

beef and pork meatballs with Italian style
Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

olive oil
1 x English onion, very finely chopped
1 x garlic clove, very finely chopped
250g minced beef
250g minced pork
2 x pancetta slices, finely chopped
1 x large egg, lightly beaten
a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
60g Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
4-5 tbsp dried breadcrumbs rehydrated in a little milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
tomato and mushroom sauce
water or a splash of wine, to deglaze
dried spaghetti

  1. Add a little milk to the dried breadcrumbs to rehydrate them. If you have added too much, don't worry as you can strain them and squeeze out any excess milk.
  2. Gently fry the onions until softened but not browned - this will take at least 15 minutes! In the last few minutes of cooking, add the garlic and continue to cook. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. I tend to mince the beef and pork again to give it a finer texture.
  4. Mix the minced meats, pancetta, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the fried onions and garlic and mix well.
  6. Stir in the egg and cover. Leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour to firm up. (You can leave out this stage before making the meatballs, but I find that they are easier to work with if chilled).
  7. Form the meatballs - using your hands is easiest. Form them with slightly dampened hands and then roll slightly on a chopping board. (I  then set the meatball mixture aside to cool in the fridge for another hour or overnight. This is optional)
  8. Fry the meatballs in a little olive oil, until lightly browned on each side. You will probably need to do this in batches. Better to do it this way than to overcrowd the pan. The meatballs are easier to move around the pan. 
  9. Remove the meatballs and deglaze the pan with a little water or wine. Scrape up all the tasty bits!
  10. Return the meatballs to the pan and add enough tomato sauce to almost cover them. Bring the sauce to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Baste the meatballs and leave to cook at a simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour.
  11. Cook the spaghetti until al dente.
  12. Serve the meatballs over the pasta with a little chopped parsley and grated cheese.


o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Meatballs-Yum.Every which way,but the traditional Italian polpettine is just the bees knees.In Portugal it is absolutely the norm when you are buying your mince to tell the butcher you are making almondegas and he then puts the meat through the mincer twice.
How spoilt are we?

lettersfromlaunna said...

I want to make these with my daughter, she would love rolling them up;)

Sunny said...

Mhmmm now I'm hungry!

Carole said...

I was wondering if you would like to put up a link to this beef recipe in my Food on Friday Series.