Meatballs for the old Chums


The other night a few friends from High School came over, and I wanted to make something simple, fun, and casual, and so I thought it was a good opportunity to try out a new meatball recipe I came across (maybe NY Times?) -To go along with the meatballs, I made a simple salad: mixed greens, cucumbers, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, a drizzle of clover honey and  pink Himalayan salt and pepper.

I served the meatballs in my famous red Le Creuset Braiser; I am totally frigging bragging, that pan is my pride and joy. I’d marry if I could, it’s perfect; stove top to table. Everything cooks evenly inside of it, never a failed meal in that pot. -God I love it!

I served the meatballs with a side of crispy Italian bread and freshly grated Romano. After I placed the pan of meatballs on the table, I lit my super cool candle holders I found for three bucks in a thrift store in Waterville, Maine, truly the fine of the century. I’m bragging again. (My idea of heaven are streets lined with thrift shops, and all kinds of delicious food, and Le Creuset pans.)

Okay, back to the meatballs. This is how you make them:

Equal parts ground beef, veal,  and pork. Two eggs, cubed bread soaked in a spot of milk, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, chopped basil, tons of chopped flat Italian parsley and garlic, grated Romano, a few dashes of Olive oil, a pinch of hot pepper flakes, and about a cup or so of Ricotta cheese. Toss it all together, form into balls, roast on parchment paper (400f) and when done, place in your stewing tomato sauce.

I make my sauce many different ways, but for this sauce I whized carrots, celery, and onion in a Cuisinart until very fine and almost mushy. I placed all that in my lovely pan and cooked it in olive oil, when just starting to brown I added a few cans of crushed Cento tomatoes (I think they’re the best brand), to that I added some water, a cup of red wine, a pinch of sugar, salt, whole basil leaves and garlic. (I don’t cook the garlic first with the veggies, I throw it in raw and let it cook in the sauce.) I stewed the sauce for a few hours, added water if needed, but made sure the sauce was pretty thick before I served it.  Success! I was told I made the best meatballs in the world. You have to love your High School friends.FullSizeRender

About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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