Thursday, January 5, 2012


Garlic. Parsley. Cheese. That's a good meatball.

A bad meatball disguises itself as meatloaf. Meatballs should have a certain complexity to their taste, which includes cheese, parsley and lots of garlic. And the mixture should be lightly handled to avoid stone-like balls when cut into. I actually prefer my meatballs served with plain, buttered noodles. But simmering them in a tomato sauce will give an added depth and tenderness.

15 meatballs
  • 1/2 lb. ground chuck
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped curly parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, pressed
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or similar
  • 1/4 teaspoon all-purpose black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons milk
  • 6 dashes Tabasco Sauce or to taste
  • 3 sprinkles/shakes ground allspice

Melt butter and add to dried bread crumbs. Be sure your parsley is finely minced. If you don't have a garlic press, finely mince your garlic.

Place all ingredients into a bowl and with a wooden spoon or spatula, begin folding and mixing. Avoid using your hands because they tend to squeeze the mixture. You want to keep it as light as possible. Cover and place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

Lightly spray a wire rack and place it over a sheet pan.

Begin forming golf-ball sized meatballs by gently rolling between your palms. Don't squeeze. Use a light touch.

Place on rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes. If you are going to add them to sauce, bake for about 15 minutes. They will finish cooking in the sauce.

NOTES: If you sub Italian sausage for part of the pork, omit the allspice and/or Tabasco depending on spiciness of the sausage you are using.

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