Spaghetti with homemade meatballs, on the table in under an hour. No way. At least that’s what I was thinking when I watched Anne Burrell make them this past weekend. During my last trip to the grocery store, I bought a package of ground lamb/beef/veal (a.k.a meatloaf mix) and yesterday was the “use it today or freeze it for later” date. So, with my afternoon meeting ending a little early, and the whole family home just before 5pm, I decided to make Chef Anne’s Excellent Meatballs. And serve them by 6pm.
Anne Burrell’s Excellent Meatballs
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, ¼ inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ pound ground veal
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmesan, parsley and breadcrumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do one final really good squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The mixture should taste really good! If it doesn’t it’s probably missing salt. Add more. Add more anyway.
- Shape the meat into desired size. Some people like ‘em big some people like ‘em small. I prefer meatballs slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides.
- Place them on a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to your big pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, they can be frozen for later use. Serve with pasta and sauce or just eat them straight out of the pot.