Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pot luck dinner - day 3

I don't know what I would do without meatballs. Nicholas went through a phase where all he would eat was this. Now it is Sofia's turn. I make this twice a week. Most nights we have pasta along with a meat entree. I vary the meat entree for 3 of us -- Sofia sticks with the meatballs.

Meatballs in tomato sauce

ingredients for meatballs

1 lb. chopmeat -- I use 80% lean but you can use 85% or even 90%, however, your meatballs will have a drier texture.

1 slice white bread

1 egg

1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Put chopmeat in large mixing bowl. Break apart with fork. Add basil and oregano. Cut ends off of bread and put it in a separate small bowl. Saturate with water and then squeeze out quickly. Transfer bread to large mixing bowl. Using a fork, combine all ingredients well -- until you cannot see any remnants of the bread. Add egg to mixture and combine well. Roll chopmeat into small 1 1/2"- 2" balls and set aside.
Note: If you want to make 2 lbs. of chop meat, double all ingredients except for the egg.

ingredients for tomato sauce

3 x 15 ounce cans of your favorite tomato sauce (I use Hunt's)

1 clove fresh garlic

Extra light tasting olive oil (enough to almost cover the bottom of the pot/pan)

1 Tablespoon sugar

Chop garlic and brown in pan. Remove browned garlic from pan. Add meatballs and brown slightly. When browning meatballs leave at least 1/2" between each meatball. Don't crowd them. Crowding will prevent them from browning, they will steam instead and taste different. Depending on the size of your pot/pan you may not be able to brown them all at the same time. That's okay. Take your time with this step. When the last batch is still in the pot/pan, pour the sauce over them slowly. After all the sauce is in the pot, add the sugar. Stir gently. Add remaining meatballs. If your sauce looks thick, you can add up to 4 ounces of water. Don't make it too watery or you'll have to cook it forever to evaporate it out. Simmer over low heat 45 minutes. You don't want it to boil -- it doesn't have the best flavor if it boils. Simmering is the key.

Enjoy this with your favorite pasta and a side salad! Buon appetito!

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