The following recipe uses the traditional mix of two meats, in this case pork and beef. The size of the meatballs depends completely on your own preference. The first time when I tried to make some authentic Italian meatballs, I just thought it was about some meat and seasoning, with a round shape and cooked through...
You know easy, something like making hamburgers. Trying to come-up the first time, with my best meatballs, was something more like playing a game rather than cooking. Polpette (pohl-PHE-teh) is the Italian word for meatballs, and they are well loved in South Italy. But if you're making them Italian-American style, maybe with spaghetti, then the size goes up big as a tennis ball.
Though it's an easy recipe made in a simple, succulent tomato sauce. The problem could eventually arrive, when you try to form with your bare hands the round shape of the meatballs, that instead turns out flat. Worst the flop could even arrive in the frying pan, when they break and fall splitting in several chunks of meat. Don't worry then, it just happened to me too :-)
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 60 mins
Fry or bake the meatballs until lightly brown so that most of the grease from the meat will melt in the pan and be discarded if you like or otherwise plunge them directly in the tomato sauce.
Yes, maybe you have to be ready to lose at your very first attempt. But I just said: "Maybe". ;-)
You may be a better cook than I am, and get your best Italian meatballs right away, and win, win, win. What ever your cooking skills are, if I finally made my best meatballs surely you can too!
So lesson learned, I'm passing you my authentic,
winning Italian meatballs recipe, from my trials and errors game.
To make a good mixture and end-up with roughly 12/13 Italian meatballs you'll need:
Begin by breaking the bread in small bits inside a bowl and then soak it with the milk.
Remove the leaves of parsley from the stems and put them on a cutting board to be finely minced together with the garlic clove. I prefer my “mezzaluna” (half-moon) knife to do this task, because swinging up and down makes whole easy and safe.
In a bowl add all the ingredients, minced meats, parsley and garlic, egg, cheese, soaked bread, salt and pepper.
I belong to those, who likes to work with their bare hands in the kitchen. And if there's one recipe in which you have to throw your hands in that's Italian meatballs.
Of course, you can still opt to mash all with a fork if you like. But even though, soon or late you still have to make the round shape with your hands or at least you have a mould. You need to end up with something very similar to a smooth and compact compound just like one giant meatball.
Taking about 3 tbsp (45 g) of meat from the mixture, I start rolling within the palms of my hands until I get a good round shape. I like to make medium meatballs so not too big, not too small. I make about 12/13 meatballs ready to be lightly fried in a pan.
Pour in a frying pan about 1 tbsp (15ml) of oil and arrange all the meatballs around. Fry them until lightly brown, then turn off the heat and keep all aside.
My family's most prefered bottled tomato puree for pasta is generally Mutti. This succulent precooked tomato sauce goes well for these meatballs too.
At last if you have a few basil leaves add them in the sauce. Now you could even think of making spaghetti and meatballs if you like. But remember though, there's no such spaghetti with big meatballs in Italy. That's more of an Italian-American recipe becamed famous abraod.
Italians just eat meatballs with sauce known as "polpette al sugo" and served as second course, and usually with a side dish and that's it ;-)