Archive for the ‘Italien’ Category

Excellent Meatballs

Excellent Meatballs

I have been trying and trying for years to make a tender and tasty meatball but they always came out too firm. I want my meatballs to easily fall apart when you dig into it with a fork. So what was different this time you ask me ? Well, I think the most important part is that I got equal parts veal, pork and beef directly from the butcher instead of using one of those “meatball” ground meat packages from the grocery store that supposedly have equal parts of all three meats in it. Also, the meatballs get browned and then baked plus I like to let them simmer in the sauce for at least 1 hour. These meatballs are so tasty and Anne Burrell also mentions another really important point and that is to test taste (why didn’t I think of that) a mini meatball before cooking them all up. Adjust the salt if needed! Now finally I got myself a tender meatball that I’ll be confident in serving for my guests.


Extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped


2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of crushed red pepper

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

2 large eggs

1 cup grated Parmigiano

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup water

Directions:Coat a large pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes. The onions should be translucent but have no color. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley, bread crumbs and onions. Season well with salt. Mix using your hands squishing the mixture. Add water and do one final squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The patty should taste really good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Shape the meat into desired size. I prefer them slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookies sheet and bake them in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through. If using right away, add meatballs to your favorite marinara sauce. If not, cool and freeze.

Source:  Anne Burrell


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Best Marinara Sauce

Best Marinara Sauce

I love love love tomatoes and Marinara sauce. I would eat it 7 days a week if they let me. But they won’t let me. Actually, truth be told, I eat a tomato every day for lunch and my coworkers love to point it out to me and so I never hear the end of it. 🙂 But I can’t help myself, lunch just dosn’t seem right without my shiny little red friend. Sorry, got a little sidetracked there.

Now for the Marinara sauce. This is without a doubt the very best Marinara sauce that I have tried out so far. This has become a favorite in our house and I’m happy to report that even my son likes it (and that’s saying a lot because he is used to only the best from his grandmother who makes a mean pasta and meatball). If you have a food mill this is a breeze to make, if not, it’s a little more work but well worth the effort. This sauce freezes really well so I always make a big batch and keep it in the freezer for easy use. Enjoy.


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 pound diced pancetta

2 large Spanish onions, diced

Kosher salt

4 large garlic cloves, minced

4 (28 ounce) cans Italian diced or plum San Marzano tomatoes


Coat a large sauce pot with olive oil and add diced pancetta. Bring the pot to a medium-high heat and cook pancetta for 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion and season generously with salt, stir to coat with olive oil. Cook the onions for 6 to 7 minutes stirring frequently. The onions should become soft and translucent but have no color. Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.

Pass the tomatoes through a food mill or if you don’t have a food mill simply just pulse the tomatoes in a food processor to break them up and then press the tomatoes through a sieve. Make sure to press until you have a dry paste left in the sieve. This part can be a little bit of a workout. Make sure to scrape all the delicious pulp off the bottom of the sieve or the food mill. Add the tomatoes to the pot and rinse out 1 of the empty cans with water and add the water to the pot (about 2-3 cups). Season generously with salt (season in baby steps) and taste it to make sure it is seasoned enough. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally and tasting frequently.

Serve sauce right away or cool down and then freeze.

Source: Anne Burrell


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Spagetthi al Pomodoreo al Forno

Spagetthi al Pomodoreo al Forno

I decided it would be fun to go to a cooking class at the Kitchen Barn. The class was hosted by Janie Jacobson and it turned out to be a really good class with lots of good information and some very delicious food. I was hoping for a little hands-on, but the class turned out to be an instructional class only. So what was on the menu you ask me, here it is:

  • Spaghetti al Pomodoro al Forno (Spaghetti in Sauce with Baked Tomatoes)
  • Black-eyed Pea Salad with Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Dressing
  • Tiramisu

I kept debating back and forth which dish I liked better and the Spaghetti won……I think….or was it the Pea Salad? I guess that means I’ll just have to make them myself and test taste them again. In any case, I wanted to share with you the Spaghetti al Pomodoro al Forno dish. It’s made with anchovies and fresh tomatoes which are baked in the oven. Now, I have never cooked with anchovies before and let me just say this. They are wonderful, however, I found it difficult to use real anchovies with their tiny little translucent bones. I know they simply just melt into the sauce but I think I’ll use anchovy paste next time. The anchovies do give a nice subtle background flavor that makes you go hmm what is that? Delicious. Note: the original recipe suggested 10 anchovy fillets, I used only approx 5 anchovy fillets.

Roasting tomatoes and anchovies

Roasting tomatoes and anchovies


1 lb Spaghetti

2 lb fresh tomatoes

5 anchovy fillets in oil, drained

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

pinch of red pepper flakes

3/4 cup olive oil

15 sprigs of fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the sauce slice the tomatoes horizontally into thick slices. Cover the bottom of an oven proof baking dish with a layer of the sliced tomatoes. Place the anchovies on top of tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Pour olive oil over tomatoes. Place baking dish with tomatoes in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Coarsely chop parsley and set aside until needed. Bring a pot of cold water to a boil. Season water generously with salt and cook spaghetti until desired consistency, drain and set aside. Once done, remove tomatoes from oven and pour over spaghetti. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and toss well before serving.


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