Meatballs Italiano

Meatballs Italiano with Spaghetti

Meatballs Italiano

I was taught this recipe from my friend's Mum who is a proper Italian cook.  I have treasured this recipe and look for an excuse to make these all the time.  They can be eaten with spaghetti, rice, in sandwiches or just as they are.  They are good cold too, and make a good addition to a lunch platter or picnic.

500 grams premium beef or veal mince  - well chilled
500 grams pork mince – well chilled
2 rashers of bacon or 2 slices of prosciutto diced
1 onion finely diced
3 slices of bread soaked in milk (preferably crusty full bodied Italian bread)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
Grated nutmeg
Flour for rolling meatballs in
1 bay leaf

Pre-heat oven to 200°C

Sauté the onion, garlic, nutmeg and bacon in a little olive oil and allow to cool. 

In a large mixing bowl combine the mince, herbs, bread and cooked onion mix using your hands.  Work the meat, kneading it well until the protein in the meat is activated and starts making the meat very very sticky.  Form into walnut sized balls and roll in flour.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil with a bay leaf in it until very hot.  Remove the bay leaf and quickly shallow fry the meatballs – cooking them only enough to colour them.

Transfer meatballs to a roasting tray or baking sheet and bake for a further 20 minutes. 

Meatballs can be eaten hot immediately with basic tomato passata over rice or spaghetti with a generous helping of parmesan cheese.  Meatballs are also excellent cold on canapé plates and platters, are great for lunch and in sandwiches.  They freeze well as is or in tomato sauce and can be reheated in the oven doused in tomato sugo to prevent them drying out.