Gar­den fresh recipe: A pasta with meat­balls to savour

Manitoba Gardener Magazine - - Contents - By Ian leatt

Ire­mem­ber vis­it­ing Italy, the is­land of Capri to be ex­act. It was just a short va­ca­tion but it made a last­ing im­pres­sion, for that is where I first tasted meat­balls, Ital­ian style, a treat I con­tinue to give my­self ev­ery so of­ten. This is my play on that iconic Ital­ian dish.

Meat­balls

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1½ cups bread crumbs

2 eggs

¼ cup ri­cotta cheese

¼ cup Parme­san cheese

2 tea­spoons salt

2 tea­spoons black pep­per

1 ta­ble­spoon freshly chopped pars­ley

1 tea­spoon oregano

1 tea­spoon mar­jo­ram

3 cloves minced gar­lic

1 cup of flour (dust­ing pur­poses)

1/3 cup olive oil

Tomato Sauce

2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil

2 large onions finely chopped

2 car­rots chopped

3 sticks of cel­ery chopped

2 ta­ble­spoons fresh chopped pars­ley

2 cloves gar­lic minced

1 ta­ble­spoon chopped basil

1 tea­spoon salt

1 tea­spoon black pep­per

12 cups fresh chopped toma­toes

Sauce di­rec­tions

Start with the tomato sauce. You can make this in the morn­ing of the planned meal. Use fresh toma­toes if pos­si­ble. Place the oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the chopped cel­ery and car­rots, cook for five min­utes and then add the onions and gar­lic. Once the onions be­come clear, add the toma­toes and all the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents, bring to a boil and then re­duce the heat, al­low­ing the in­gre­di­ents to sim­mer. Stir oc­ca­sion­ally to en­sure noth­ing is stick­ing to the bot­tom of the pot. Af­ter sim­mer­ing for a cou­ple of hours, blend the in­gre­di­ents, us­ing a blender, for a smooth con­sis­tency. Now let the sauce sim­mer an­other two hours, al­low­ing the in­gre­di­ents to come to­gether as a hearty, flavour­ful sauce.

Meat­ball di­rec­tions

In a large bowl, com­bine the pork, beef, ri­cotta cheese, grated Parme­san, eggs, salt, pars­ley, oregano, mar­jo­ram, black pep­per, minced gar­lic and bread crumbs. Us­ing your hands mix the in­gre­di­ents to­gether.

Now, wet your hands and pick­ing up some of the meat mix­ture start to form meat­balls (tra­di­tion­ally the size of a small lime). Roll a meat­ball in your hands and then over the flour, giv­ing it a good coat­ing. Set each meat­ball on a bak­ing sheet af­ter it is coated.

Place a large fry­ing pan on the stove on a high heat, pour in the olive oil, and then add the meat­balls. Brown the meat­balls on both sides and then ar­range them in the sauce, turn­ing each one over to coat. Cover the pot and sim­mer gen­tly for at least one hour.

Serve on cooked pasta (your choice) with fresh crusty bread. Gar­nish with freshly chopped pars­ley or Parme­san.

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