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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Balls!

Continuing with what seems to be my Italian state of mind (read the previous post on Zeppole), I thought of going back to doing another traditional dish - meatballs with your spaghetti.  If the celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito be the resource, this is quite a traditional thing from the Campagna region of Italy from which his family emigrated from. 
 
This is my take on meatballs, but used cheaper ingredients like ground pork.  Try making your own batch; its quite simple and won't take much of your time.  You can even do this ahead and keep in the ref for later use.  Use it with store-bought tomato-based pasta sauces (I like the tomato and basil spaghetti sauces).  It's one way of personalizing a commercial sauce.  As testimony, this is one of the pasta dishes offered by Heaven's Country Kitchen yesterday and the girls loved it.
 
 

The Recipe

1 kilo ground pork (a bit of fat will add flavor)
1 cup finely chopped white onions
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
2-3 Italian sausages, crumbled or chopped finely (Chorizo Bilbao also works)
6 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves, or 2 Tbsp. dried basil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Mix all ingredients together and form into balls.  Put in a container lined with wax or baking paper and cool in refrigerator for at least one hour before cooking.  (Don't worry, the balls wont stick together once they're formed.  So you can put them on top of each other in the container).  Before cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a shallow baking sheet with baking paper then arrange the meatballs in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes.  You have an option to brown the meatballs afterwards in a pan with a little oil to bring out its smoky flavor.  They are now ready to be mixed into the sauce of your choice.
 
Tip:  For the pasta sauce, sautĂ© chopped onions and garlic in a little oil before adding the pasta sauce. Add a bit more salt and pepper according to taste before adding the meatballs and let simmer for a few minutes.  Pour the sauce on your cooked spaghetti noodles and serve with grated parmesan cheese.  Absolute enjoyment!

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