Meatballs and Tomatoes

This is Marcella Hazan’s recipe that I’ve adapted a bit.  I’m in love with these meatballs.  I’ll often quadruple the recipe and then go crazy trying to turn all the meatballs while cooking. I use two cast iron frypans; my giant one and the 12 in.  I eat my fill then freeze the rest of the gems for several delightful and fast meals.

  • slice of bread, preferably homestyle white
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 Tbs onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs parsley, chopped (fresh is amazingly good)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • nutmeg (whole and freshly grated)
  • salt and pepper
  • bread crumbs, unflavored (finely crushed)
  • oil, vegetable
  • 2-3 cups tomatoes chopped (fresh is best, but canned plum will work)

1. Put milk  and bread in saucepan and heat.  Turn off heat when bread has soaked up the milk.  Cool.

2. Mix in bowl:  meat, onion, parsley, egg, 1 Tbs olive oil, cheese, 1/8 tsp of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

3. Shape into balls, I like about 1.5 in balls.  Roll balls in bread crumbs that have been spread on a plate.

4. Heat small amount of oil (1/8 -1/4 inch deep in pan) in frying pan.  Place meatballs in the hot pan, starting with the outer edge of pan and filling into the middle (the middle pan cooks the fastest).  When the balls begin to brown turn them 1/3 turn. They will be soft at first but will firm up as they cook. Continue to turn until 3-4 sides are browned.  Continue to cook until cooked in the middle.  Remove to paper toweled plate.

5.  Add the chopped tomatoes along with salt to taste in the meatball pan.  After tomatoes have heated through, add the meatballs.  Cook another few minutes until the flavors blend and meatballs are covered with tomatoes.  Serve over spaghetti.


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