in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Meatballs. You gotta love 'em! Plain or fancy, small or large, rustic or refined, they are usually a hit for lunch, dinner or as hors d'oeuvres. I upped the "Italian" in this recipe by using pepperoni and Romano. I pretty sure they will continue the "hit" streak for you; they did for me!
Meatballs w/ Red Sauce & Pasta

Meatballs with Pepperoni and Beef
1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
4 to 5 ounces pepperoni slices, regular or turkey
2 ounces Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooked Pasta
Red Sauce (Fillipo Magestro's recommended) 
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place beef in a large mixing bowl. Grind pepperoni slices in a food processor or blender and add to bowl. Grate cheese and add to bowl. Add salt, crumbs, milk, eggs and basil. Mix together lightly until thoroughly combined. Put olive oil on a baking sheet and place in oven to heat up. With your hands, form meat mixture into balls about the size of large walnuts (this will make about 30 meatballs). Remove baking sheet from oven and place meatballs onto hot oil. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes. To serve, combine meatballs with sauce and serve over pasta (or toss with pasta); top with additional Romano cheese.  

Hints: Using the pepperoni gives all the flavor you need and makes the meatballs quite light textured. A food processor grinds the pepperoni up so fast, but a blender will do the same thing, however it will work better if you blend a handful at a time. I use my food processor to grate the cheese as well. Oven baking the meatballs takes less oil and allows them to cook through but you could opt to pan fry them to get the outsides a bit crispier. You could opt for ground turkey and turkey pepperoni to keep these beef free if you like. They could also be made bit sized (bake about 20 minutes) and served in the sauce with toothpicks as an hors d'oeuvre.

Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic. Comfort food made by Mamma. I never have tried to make meatball subs but I think these would be great for that as well. Let me know if you try.

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