Tonight was just going to be a throw-something-together-after-work kind of dinner, trying to use up some odds and ends in the pantry. As it turns out, those odds and ends included the stuff to make some yummy Italian meatballs, which is a very doable dish on a Monday night. I’m making a simple linguine dish using one of my quicker versions of red tomato sauce, but you can also use the one from my earlier post, Tuesday Night Italian. You’ll want to get your sauce going first so it is simmering when you prepare the meatballs.
Here are your ingredients for enough meatballs to serve 4 people:
- 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated or shredded
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Pinch of kosher salt
Choose your sausage based on how spicy you like your dish. I like mine pretty mild so I use a sweet Italian sausage as my base. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape the mixture into balls about 1 1/2″ in diameter. This should produce around 16 meatballs.
You have several options on how to cook the meatballs. You can place them on a baking sheet in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes. You can gently pan-fry them in a little olive oil until moderately browned. Or you can simply add them to your sauce and allow them to slow cook. This last option, however, may add some unwanted fat to your sauce, but on the flip-side the bread crumbs in the meatballs will pull some excess moisture out of the sauce. My personal preference is to pan-fry until they are about halfway done, then finish them in the sauce. This leaves most of the fat in the other skillet and allows the meatballs and sauce to blend their flavors for a while.
Whichever way you choose, you should get a tasty result. Munch them down with a big, happy grin on your face. And who knows, maybe if you share with your friends and they share with their friends, pretty soon I may be franchising a chain of Dave’s World Famous Meatball joints. A fellow can dream, right? Until next time: Eat well, my friends!