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Saffron's Table: Meatballs

Can't have Red/Meat Sauce without meatballs and here is my family recipe for them. Like the Red/Meat Sauce no measurements were ever written down, so below is my best guess



~24 balls

1 lb (450 g) Ground Beef

1 lb (450 g) Ground Veal

1 lb (450 g) Ground Pork Some stores sell "Italian Meatloaf Mix" which will work perfectly

1 medium Onion

5 cloves Garlic

Parsley (.3 oz / 10 g / 1/3 cup)

3 Eggs, beaten

1/2 cup (+) Romano Cheese, add more to get the taste you want

Bread Crumbs (at least 1 cup)

1 cup Tomato Sauce*

Salt & Pepper (the cheese is salty, so only add salt after tasting a fried party)

*If making Red/Meat Sauce, start that first and then start the meatballs. Fresh sauce is better, but a can will be fine.

Let the meat sit out on the counter for a bit so your hands are not freezing while working with it.

In a food processor add the onion, garlic, and parsley and get a fine chop.

In a large bowl mix the beef, veal, and pork with your hands.

Add 1/2 cup cheese to the meat mixture.

Add in the onion, garlic, and parsley mixture to the meat. Mix well with your hands

Add beaten eggs to the mixture. Mix well your hands.

Add in bread crumbs and tomato sauce a little at a time until the mixture holds together and is not too wet. This step takes practice and trial by error.

It is important to taste the mixture before cooking them. Roll out a small meatball and flattening it into a patty and fry it up with a small amount of EVOO in a frying pan. Taste it and add more cheese/sauce/salt/pepper/etc as need be.

Make sure your hands are not dry when rolling the meatballs. Add a little EVOO to them or just use your "dirty" hands from mixing the meatballs.

Roll out the meatballs and place on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil. I get 12 meatballs per baking sheet.

If adding to sauce:

Brown the meat in a 400 F/200 C oven. This takes about 15 minutes for each batch.

~1.5 hours before finishing add the browned Pork Ribs, Italian Sausage, and Braciole

~1 hour before finishing add the Meatballs

Once the meat is in the sauce, be careful while stirring so not to break the Meatballs.

If cooking in the oven and not being cooked in sauce:

Cook in a 400 F/200 C oven for about 20 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. Cook time will be based on size of meatballs.

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