One snowstorm passed. Another snowstorm arriving. Fresh brewed coffee in hand. Grandma’s Italian meatballs on the menu. Surrounded by all fresh (and some organic) ingredients, it’s an awesome Saturday morning in my kitchen. Mouth watering, can’t wait to serve these taste bombs with a side of spaghetti, green salad, and a glass of Chianti Classico Coltibuono organic wine. Buon appetito!
Note: I tripled the recipe to freeze additional dinners.
2 lbs ground beef, 80% lean meat and 20% fat
2 large eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
bunch Italian (flat) parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt, black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (each 28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
2 large tomatoes on the vine
6 oz tomato paste
Salt, black pepper, to taste
Natural and fresh food and drink is nourishment for the mind, body and soul, and integral to a healthy, holistic lifestyle. For me as a runner, this dinner (see serving suggestion at bottom) is the perfect combo of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals. I make everything from scratch (not processed or pre-made), and use fresh and often organic ingredients wherever possible. For example, the canned tomatoes, eggs and virgin olive oil are organic. The Reggiano Parmesan is freshly grated from whole chunk of cheese. The ground beef, while not organic, does not contain antibiotics, growth hormones or artificial ingredients.
Preparing and Broiling Italian Meatballs
Prepare and combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix with a large serving spoon or by hand.
Roll meatballs to the size of a large egg (about 3 oz in weight). Evenly space meatballs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil on high and cook until the meatballs are brown (about 10-15 minutes depending on size). Use lower-middle rack. Turn over the meatballs and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Preparing Tomato Sauce
Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium-low heat, and saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 minutes and stir every few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add fresh tomatoes on the vine (remove the vine!).
Cooking Italian Meatballs and Finishing the Sauce
Remove meatballs from baking sheet and add to tomato sauce. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, checking and stirring to avoid burning the sauce. Remove the meatballs and place into separate container (I use a Pyrex glass dish with sealable top). Mix and finish the sauce.
Saturday night dinner consisted of Grandma’s Italian meatballs with homemade tomato sauce, served over a side of cooked spaghetti, accompanied by a fresh side salad (red Romaine lettuce, spring garden mix, drizzled with virgin olive oil and champagne white vinegar, salt and pepper). I chose a wine that reflects the local Italian cuisine and enhances the flavor of the Italian meatballs, the organic Chianti Classico Badia a Coltibuono for $20. I’ve paired it with my Margherita Pizza for similar reasons.