Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Last Night's Dinner #7: Frankie's Meatballs & Marinara Sauce

Frankie's Meatballs & Marinara Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Frank Pellegrino (via Martha Stewart)
Difficulty: Medium

Michael Kors was on Martha (repeat) and they made Frankie's Meatballs & Marinara Sauce. The recipe was from Rao's Cookbook by Frank Pellegrino. I tried adapting the recipe for 2, but I still ended up with plenty of meatballs. I guess we'll just have to have Meatball Hero sandwiches tomorrow.

Marinara Sauce

The sauce is really easy to make.
I made slight modifications to the recipe. You'll need:
1 big can of whole tomatoes w/ basil (preferably from San Marzano)
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 C Tbs chopped onion
1 large clove of garlic minced
5 basil leaves torn
Pinch of dried Oregano
Pinch of sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mash up the tomatoes with your hands and remove any skin, stems or tough membranes. Set aside. Heat up oil and add onions, cook until translucent then add garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Season. Stir in chunks of tomatoes first and then add remaining juices. Season. Simmer for about an hour or until nice and thick. Stir in the basil, sugar and oregano to finish and allow to simmer for a minute. Once the meatballs are cooked, you'll add them to the sauce and simmer for 20 additional minutes.


You'll need:
1/2 pound each of lean ground beef and ground pork
1 clove of garlic smashed
1/2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 cups water, room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
Cooked Pasta

Heat up the water for your pasta. Don't cook the pasta until the very end (see below).

Combine all ingredients except for the 1 clove of smashed garlic and the 1/2 cup olive oil. You should also save the 1 Cup of water for the very end. Once the ingredients are fully mixed, add the water 1/4 at a time. The water is the secret in this recipe, it's what makes the meatballs light and fluffy. The breadcrumbs absorb the water and lightens the whole thing up. No golf ball meatballs here! Don't forget to season with salt and pepper.

Form into balls. Heat up the olive oil and cook the smashed garlic until you start to smell it and then remove it. I worked it into two batches - cook the meatballs until nice and brown all over. You'll have to turn the balls every couple of minutes or so to get an even "tan". Once all of the balls are cooked, add it to the marinara sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Start cooking the pasta 10 minutes into it. It takes 9-12 mins to cook spaghetti al dente. This would make a great Sunday lunch!

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