Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

I've been eating meatballs for breakfast. It's crazy, I know. That's how good they are though and when you're sick of eggs, meatballs are a really nice change. There are so many different meatball recipes. I'm certainly not an expert on good meatballs but I've always assumed if they have lots of flavor and they're tender, meaty and juicy - they would pass muster in my book. It was Sunday morning...Mother's Day...and I saw a cooking show where meatballs were being made and they made my mouth water. They were served with an equally delicious looking artichoke dish. I made both that evening for dinner. One dish turned out edible - the other one we won't talk about. 

They do take some time to make but if you can get someone in the house to help you form the meatballs, it's not bad. I did bake mine instead of frying them only because I thought it would be easier and faster. You can use any type of ground meat. The recipe called for ground pork but I used ground pork, beef and turkey. These would be great for kids to help you make as I'm sure they would enjoy eating them as much as you will. You can certainly serve these with pasta but I decided to serve these on their own. Another tip with ground meat is to not over-mix it. This keeps the meatballs tender.


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground turkey
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together (don't over mix). Make sure you season with salt and pepper.  Roll into 2 inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Makes 20-25 meatballs.

While they're baking, make the marinara sauce.

Marinara Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 carrots, peeled and grated
1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
2-4 cups water
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions, garlic, carrots, red pepper flakes and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes. Us a spoon to break up the tomatoes. Cook another 5-10 minutes. Add water, a 1/2 cup at a time if sauce gets to thick or dry. Cook another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add more water and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Add the basil and meatballs to the sauce. Let cook for a few minutes. Add parmesan cheese and serve.

Adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli 
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