Made it twice now and so far its one of the best meatball recipes I have tasted, lovely and juicy and not dry because of the cheeses...
- 1 lb Mince beef
- 1 lb Minced pork
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 slices of white bread, crusts removed
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 3 oz finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 small finely chopped onion.
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- About 1 cup of flour for dusting
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups (24 ounces) of tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 700 g fresh tomatoes skinned and sliced or a 800 g tin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 350 g sliced mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tsp fresh fennel or 1 tsp dried fennel seeds crushed
- ground black pepper
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a heavy based pan and add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf.
- Cook slowly for 30 mins in a covered pan
- If you like a smooth texture Liquidise the mixture at this stage
- add the mushrooms, crushed garlic and remaining olive oil and fennel
- add ground black pepper and salt to taste
- Simmer the mushrooms in the sauce until they tender, about 20 mins, stiring occasionally
For the Meatballs....
- Heat the milk in a small pot until steamy. Turn off the heat, tear the bread into little pieces and soak it in the milk until it partially dissolves. Mash it until you get something that resembles a paste. Turn it out onto a plate to let it cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, eggs, salt, parsley, oregano, black pepper, garlic cloves and the bread-milk mixture. Mix it well with your hands until it barely combines. Don't overwork the mixture or it will become tough. It is OK to have some discernable bits of bread or meat in the mix; better that than overworked meatballs
- Wet your hands and form the meatballs. A traditional size for this sort of meatball is 2-3 inches across, but you can make them any size you want. Once you roll the meatball in your hands, roll it in the flour to give it a good coating. Set each one on a baking sheet as you work. You might need to rinse your hands a few times as you make the meatballs.
- When all the meatballs are formed, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on at least two sides. Don't worry about the center getting cooked through, as you will finish these in the sauce.
- Once all the meatballs are browned, arrange them in the sauce, turning each one over in the sauce to coat. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the sauce and pasta or crusty bread. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley for garnish if you want