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Archive for the ‘Meatballs’ Category


I have a lot of meatballs on here by now: classic spaghetti and meatballs, tuna meatballs, and chicken meatballs, and I thought it was time for vegetarian meatballs. These were inspired by a couple different recipes I saw across the blogosphere and they disappeared so quickly that I will have to make them again. They’re perfect for a party where meat-eaters and veggies alike will love them.

Lentil Meatballs

2 cups cooked lentils

1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas

2 eggs

1/2 cup ricotta or goat cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon aleppo pepper

2 tablespoons chopped basil

2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it creates a paste. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until they start to brown on top.  Squeeze a whole lemon over them before serving.

Lemon Pesto

3 cups basil

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Spoon over the meatballs or use as a dip on the side.

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For years now, I have been listening to an old coworker talk about his love of sesame noodles. It really was more like an obsession. After making them this week, I’ve started to understand. While this version is probably a lighter, healthier, and less traditional version, I think he would be more than happy to have some. Paired with some delicious Asian-inspired chicken meatballs, you can’t go wrong. Break out the chopsticks!

Sesame Noodles

1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 scallion, chopped with extra for garnish

1/4 cup peanut butter

4 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1  tablespoon mirin

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Teriyaki sauce

1/4 cup sake, rice wine, or apple cider (non-traditional I know, but it was what I had in the fridge)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish

Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Meanwhile, saute the shallot, garlic, and scallion in half the sesame oil until softened. Add the peanut butter, fish sauce, mirin, vinegar, Teriyaki sauce, and sake/cider. Stir to combine and let cook with about 1/2 cup of pasta water for 5 minutes.

Off the heat, add the pasta along with the rest of the sesame oil and the lemon. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.

When making meatballs, the MOST important part is making sure you use enough breadcrumbs. No one likes rock hard meatballs, which comes from only using meat. If you can’t make your own (and it’s REALLY worth it, trust me), at least use some packaged breadcrumbs and soak them in a little milk. Ok. I’m done with the caps lock.

Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken

1 scallion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, not ground too finely

1 egg

1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons mirin

1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs if needed

2 tablespoons sesame oil

Combine the chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, scallion, garlic, half the ginger, and teaspoons of mirin and teriyaki sauce in a large bowl. Add dry breadcrumbs if it seems too wet to stay in loose balls. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and saute in the sesame oil until they brown on all sides. Remove to a baking dish.

Add the remaining ginger, mirin, teriyaki, vinegar, and fish sauce to the pan and stir together. Pour over the meatballs and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

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These were so good, that they might be the favorite meatballs around the apartment. In the New Year, we’re trying to be a little more healthy, and so….no red meat for a while…or at least as long as we can hold out. The cinnamon gives them a little unusual flavor that’s hard to place but so wonderful in the marinara sauce. I used some homemade sauce that I had leftover in the fridge, but you could use your favorite bottled sauce if you don’t have any.

Tuna Meatballs

1 can Italian tuna in olive oil, oil drained out

1/4 cup dried currants

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon orange juice

Marinara sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Roll into meatballs and add to hot pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. They are very delicate, so don’t turn them more than necessary. Once they are browned on all sides, add marinara sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes.

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Well, this was the post I was waiting to do. Spaghetti and meatballs is one my all-time favorite meals, and my blog is named after them. I was lucky enough to share this meal with some great friends, so it was a fantastic evening. Almost everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs, it’s really hard to go wrong. The secret ingredient in mine is actually in the sauce- the anchovies. I promise, you will never know they’re there but they make it so delicious. The meatballs soak up the flavor as they cook in the sauce, you can leave them in longer and they just get better and better. And because one of my friends is a vegetarian, I kept them separate at our dinner…it’s her loss though…(She had her own sauce, no anchovies)

I’ve started doing my meatballs in the broiler instead of frying them because it’s just so much easier. If you prefer, you can fry them in a frying pan with some olive oil until browned. I don’t particularly like baked meatballs because they don’t get the extra flavor from browning, and they don’t hold together as well unless you use more breadcrumbs and egg. And well, meat without the crusty brown bits just isn’t as tasty.

Meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sage, minced

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Mix everything except the meat together until combined (you leave the meat until the end so it doesn’t get overworked). Add the meat and combine with a fork until just mixed.

Make them into golf ball-sized meatballs, rolling between your hands. Place them on a baking sheet with some olive oil.

Broil them for 15 minutes or so, until they brown on the outside.

Tomato Sauce

3 anchovies

1/2 onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon sage, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup red wine

1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Melt the anchovies in the olive oil until they have broken up. Add the onion and let them soften but not brown. Add the carrot, garlic, sage, and oregano and cook for a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the tomatoes and sugar. Let it cook down for 15 or 20 minutes.

For the spaghetti and meatballs, you would add the meatballs to the tomato sauce at this point and let them finish cooking together for 10 minutes. Cook some spaghetti according to the package instructions. Remove some of the tomato sauce to a saute or frying pan along with some of the pasta water. Let that cook down for a minute, then add the pasta to cook for the last minute together. Plate and put some meatballs on top. Sprinkle the parsley over and some grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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