Meatballs

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Meat balls.jpg

Makes 4 main course servings.

This dish is well seasoned with a distinct tomato flavor. I serve it with rice, pasta or other grains. The sauce as well as the meat balls can be prepared ahead of time and freeze well.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped,
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 0ne 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 sun dried tomato halves packed in oil, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn into small pieces.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEAT BALLS:

  • 1 pound chopped meat; a blend of ½ pound veal and ½ pound beef
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

TO MAKE THE SAUCE:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

TO MAKE THE MEAT BALLS:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Place the meat in a bowl along with the panko, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix very well with your hands, take your time.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Roll the meat into walnut size balls, or you can use the smallest ice cream scooper to form the balls.
  4. Place on the cookie sheet.
  5. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet and sauté the balls briefly turning them with a spoon. They will be lightly seared. When brown drop them into the simmering sauce and cook for 20 minutes.  
  6. Season to taste.