As far as I'm concerned a meatball is the perfect food. Delicious. Versatile. Convenient. Make a batch and freeze them to pull out whenever a craving strikes. Eat them on a sandwich or with pasta. Or let them fly solo with a salad on the side. Make them with beef, pork, or, as My Uncle Sonny makes them, with ground turkey. Season them the Italian way or add Asian flavors.
The only problem with meatballs is that no matter how many you make for later - they always disappear faster than you plan for. Last weekend, with family in town, I made 25 meatballs, expecting that there would be plenty to freeze for later. Nope. Gone after two meals: one served with linguine and the other, the next day for lunch, on fluffy italian rolls with sharp provolone.
Uncle Sonny's Meatballs
Makes about 20 to 24 meatballs, Serves about 4 to 6, depending
2 pounds of ground turkey
1/2 cubanelle pepper
1/2 medium white onion
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 fist full of grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)
salt and pepper to taste (I use about a tsp per pound of salt and a few clicks of pepper from the grinder)
In a food processor add pepper, onion, garlic cloves. Pulse until diced very fine. Add egg. In a large bowl place meat and breadcrumbs. Pour onion and pepper mixture and combine, gently. Do not over mix. Roll up golf size balls.
Next comes cooking the meatballs. You can either add the meatballs directly to the sauce (see recipe below), as my Uncle Sonny does. This results in a uber soft, light meatball. Or you can par-bake them on 375 for about 8 minutes and then drop them in the sauce and cook them for about 45 minutes. This will give them a light case on the outer shell that holds the meatball together. I like them both ways. It really depends on how long I can cook them in the sauce. If you add them directly to the sauce without par-baking them, then you want to cook them for at least 90 minutes in simmering sauce, or until they are no longer pink in the middle.
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cubanelle pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
4 cans crushed tomatoes
1 can whole tomatoes (chopped coarse)
Chop onion, pepper, garlic coarse. Heat sauce pan on medium-high and add olive oil. Let pan heat up. Add onion, pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning. Let simmer for two minutes. Then add tomatoes and reduce heat. Let simmer for two hours.
Thank you Uncle Sonny for typing this recipe and sending it along. The internets will be pleased.