Polpettine alla Napoletana (Meatballs) √
Makes 12 to 15 meatballs.
Note: From Mario Batali.
• 1/4 c. pine nuts
• 4 c. basic tomato sauce (see recipe)
• 3 c. (1/4-in.) cubes of day old bread
• 2 c. whole milk
• 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
• 3 eggs
• 3 garlic cloves
• 1/2 c. grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
• 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• Parsley leaves, for garnish
• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
To toast pine nuts, bake for 8 minutes in a 400-degree oven; set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, bring tomato sauce to a fast simmer.
Put the bread cubes in a medium bowl and pour the milk over. Set aside.
In the bowl of a countertop mixer fitted with a paddle or dough hook, combine the beef and the eggs. Grate the garlic over the bowl with a microplane. Add in grated pecorino, toasted pine nuts, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix briefly just to combine.
Add the milk-soaked bread cubes to the meat mixture and mix for about 1 minute until it comes together, but still has some texture and moisture.
Form the mixture into 12 to 15 meatballs, each smaller than a tennis ball but larger than a golf ball. Gently add the meatballs to the sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
Top the meatballs with parsley leaves, freshly grated pecorino and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Nutrition information per each of 15 meatballs, with sauce:
Calories 217 Fat 13 g
Sodium 360 mg Carbohydrates 12 g
Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 140 mg
Protein 14 g Cholesterol 73 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 2 medium-fat meat, ½ fat.
Basic Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 cups.
• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, cut in 1/4 -in. dice
• 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tbsp. dried
• 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
• 2 (28-oz.) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
• Kosher salt to taste
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot, and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes with their juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Nutrition information per ¼ cup:
Calories 53 Fat 4 g
Sodium 144 mg Carbohydrates 5 g
Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 37 mg