CLAS­SIC MEAT­BALLS AND MARINARA

RSWLiving - - CULINARY - BUCA DI BEPPO 4125 Cleve­land Ave., Edi­son Mall, Fort My­ers; 239-332-0957, bu­cadibeppo.com

Serves 3

Clas­sic marinara

3 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 ½ cup car­rots, grated 1 ½ cup onion, chopped ¼ cup gar­lic, minced 2 28-ounce cans San Marzano Roma toma­toes, diced 6 ounces tomato paste 2 ta­ble­spoons oregano 1 ½ tea­spoons basil 1 tea­spoon thyme 1 ½ tea­spoons black pep­per 1 ½ tea­spoons salt 1 ta­ble­spoon sugar

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add car­rots, onion and gar­lic. Sauté the veg­eta­bles un­til translu­cent. Add diced Roma toma­toes and stir. Stir in tomato paste; add oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pep­per.

Re­duce heat and sim­mer, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally un­til the spices are in­cor­po­rated. Cover pot and sim­mer for ap­prox­i­mately 2 hours, stir­ring fre­quently to avoid scorch­ing, un­til sauce be­gins to thicken. Add sugar as needed ac­cord­ing to your taste and stir to in­cor­po­rate. Con­tinue cook­ing un­til the sauce is thick enough to stay on the back of your wooden spoon.

Clas­sic meat­balls

2 pounds ground beef chuck ½ cup Parme­san cheese, grated ½ cup Ital­ian bread­crumbs 1 tea­spoon salt ¼ cup gar­lic chopped 3 eggs whole 32 ounces marinara sauce 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 cups wa­ter

In a mix­ing bowl, us­ing your hands, gen­tly com­bine the ground beef with Parme­san cheese, bread­crumbs, gar­lic, salt and pep­per. Ad­ding the dry in­gre­di­ents to the beef a lit­tle at a time will en­sure the in­gre­di­ents are well blended with­out over­mix­ing.

Whisk eggs in a sep­a­rate bowl and then add to the meat­ball mix­ture, mix gen­tly. Us­ing your hands, gen­tly pat the mix­ture into 12 meat­balls. They should be slightly loose, not firmly packed.

Heat olive oil in a skil­let and add the meat­balls, cook­ing un­til lightly browned and a crust has formed on all sides. Trans­fer to an oven-safe pan and pour marinara over the meat­balls to cover them. Add wa­ter. Cover the pan and place in a 350-de­gree oven for ap­prox­i­mately 1 hour or un­til the meat­balls are firm when pressed and have reached an in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture of 165 de­grees or above for 15 sec­onds.

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