This is our mother Avis’s recipe for meatballs. It’s the first time I’ve made them without her help and I think they came out pretty well. You could, of course, have these with spaghetti, but we ate them tonight in a sandwich with provolone cheese and a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
1 lb ground beef
3 pieces of white bread, wet with water then squeezed out.
garlic powder (or 3 cloves of garlic)
cornmeal (or flour)
pecorino romano cheese (grated)
crushed red pepper
You are going to mix together all the ingredients with your (clean) hands in a large bowl. You can use 1 lb of ground beef, or, if your grocery store carries it, 1 lb of mixed beef, veal, and pork. Use a good, hearty white bread like Pepperidge Farm whole grain white. Hold each slice of bread under your faucet, then squeeze out the excess like a sponge. Add the egg. Now you can add several shakes of garlic powder. I didn’t have any in my kitchen, so I crushed three cloves of garlic and added that instead. Add a handful of cornstarch. Grate as much romano cheese into the mix as you like. I used about 1/5 of the block of cheese you can see above. Now you can season with generous dashes of salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Add a few shakes of dried parsley for color.
(I know those aren’t the most exact directions, but as you can see, you’re making a mixed up lump of meat stuff. You’re not gonna mess it up..) I like to brown my meatballs under the broiler before I place them in the red sauce. Shape them into small balls with your hands and arrange them on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Place them under the broiler and DON’T GO ANYWHERE! The broiler works FAST, and if you walk away, you’ll be sure to have burnt meatballs. Remember that you should always leave the oven door cracked open when using the broiler and check on the meatballs frequently. When they begin to brown, remove them and turn them over. Place them back under the broiler until they’re nicely browned all over.
I’ll post an easy spaghetti sauce recipe in the future, but for now, I placed my browned meatballs in a jarred sauce in a saucepan, heated them up, and let them simmer away until they finished cooking all the way through. (Break one apart and make sure there is no pink in the middle before you eat).
We had these tonight on rolls that we placed in the oven to toast and melt provolone cheese, and a quick salad of romaine, green pepper, shaved carrot, and feta cheese crumbles.