There are very few dishes, like meatballs, that can please everyone, absolutely everyone, young and old.
Shutterstock: Paul Cowan
Here in Italy meatballs are with you from an early age. My grandmother would preparing them in many different ways, depending on the age and also the state of health of herself and the person eating them.
- Steamed meatballs are seasoned with fresh pureed tomato for young children
- Baked meatballs are made for a lighter meal without sacrificing any flavor
- Fried meatballs are always made for a “party” atmosphere and are ideal for a lunch or dinner between friends
- Meatballs can also be cooked in any sauce that they will eventually be served with for great, versatile flavor
In short, so many variations, not to mention the various ingredients contributing to what (for us) is the perfect meatball: bread, potatoes, bread crumbs, milk …
And then there is the size, that can vary according to their use:
- Very small for baked pasta with meatballs (south of Italy style)
- Medium for a main course, and to fry them
- Large, almost like small hamburgers, if we want to take them with us to a picnic, to the beach, for a trip …
And so we like to eat the meatballs … you’ll never see them on spaghetti, unless some restaurant should bend to this not Italian trend.
Meatballs’ versatility means that we do not ever get tired of them , and their flavor changes with the seasons, just like the ingredients that we put inside this dish.
Today I prepared these kinds of meatballs:
- Steamed in tomato sauce (recipe for tomato sauce is here)
- Baked, instead of being fried
With this recipe below, you can choose the meatballs form of cooking you prefer.
- 1 lb beef minced meat
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz stale bread
- 2 oz whole milk
- 1 oz parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 oz grated parmigiano (parmesan)
- to taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper
- soak the bread in milk for about ten minutes
- meanwhile chop the parsley and the garlic
- squeeze the bread
- mix together and stir in a big bowl (by hands or with a big fork): meat, bread, salt and pepper, parmesan, parsley and garlic
- add the eggs continuing to stir to mix all together
- let it rest for about 20 minutes
- form some meatballs (about 3 cm size) helping by your hands
- season with Extra Vergin Olive Oil and cook them:
- Twenty minutes (if steaming)
- Twenty minutes (if baking at 400 °F)