Thursday, August 16, 2007

Meatballs & Gravy

That's-a one spicy meat-a-ball! (well, actually thats two and they aren't spicy at all)

This recipe was given to me by my Italian friend, Tara, who got her from mom, who probably got it from her mom, and on and on and on. I promise these will be the best meatballs you have ever eaten.

2 eggs
4 slices of white bread, crusts removed
1 pound ground meat (a veal/beef/pork mix is the best)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ tablespoon black pepper
½ tablespoon oregano
½ tablespoon basil
vegetable oil (as needed)

To Make the Meatballs: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Soak slices of bread in water and squeeze out thoroughly; tear up bread into tiny pieces. Add bread, meat, garlic, cheese, and spices to eggs and mix well, making sure that there aren’t any clumps of bread. Do not overmix.

Heat about a 1/4" of oil at the bottom of a large stock pot. Roll meat into balls that are about 1½" in diameter. Cook meatballs in oil until brown on all sides (about 20 minutes). Remove meatballs from oil and set aside; reserve oil in pot.

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
12 ounces cold water (use tomato paste can to measure)
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes, with Italian seasonings
1 bay leaf
pepper (to taste)
basil (to taste)
a pinch of sugar

To Make the Gravy: Brown onion and garlic in oil from the meatballs. Add tomato paste and stir. Add water, crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, pepper, basil, and sugar; mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add meatballs, cover and vent.
Simmer over low heat for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring frequently. If there is too much oil on top at the end, you can carefully spoon some off, but do not remove all of it (that’s where all the flavor is!). Remove bay leaf and serve over macaroni.

Yields about 12 meatballs.

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