Family Favorite Meatballs
I was not always a fan of meatballs, most were overcooked and had too much breading in them. And dang, were they tasteless. But I still made them, always with ground beef as my mother did….and the bread, egg, some salt and pepper, diced onion. It got boring.
At some point, my better half (and he really is) had to be off red meat, and so I started using veal or turkey ground meat, and then once, I had no bread…and being me, I mulled things over.
I finally took out the veggies from my fridge and placed them in the food processor. I had onion, celery, carrots and capsicum (that would be green, red or whatever pepper we want to use, I think capsicum is so much cooler to say!)
I started making meatballs in a way I never read about…and they won over my family like nothing else before, and here is the base of the recipe, by now, I assume you know, there is plenty of room for creativity.
2 lbs ground meat – turkey, chicken or veal
1 lb sausage or ground pork
1 or 2 carrots (depending on size and likes)
1 celery stalks
½ onion of your choice
2 cloves garlic
1 whole pepper, color of your choice (I prefer red or colored, not green)
2 tbsp. coarse salt
1 tbsp. cracked pepper
2 tsp. smoked paprika (ordinary paprika would work)
2 tbsp. dried oregano or ¼ cup fresh oregano
1 cup ricotta (homemade or commercial)
½ c. grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
Set oven to 375.
Prepare and roughly cut veggies and place in the food processor, process till the veggies are finely cut but not soupy. Place in a large bowl with the meat, add the seasonings, cheese and eggs, mash with your hands, careful not to over mix.
Form 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper on sheet pan, you can easily place them closely, though not touching.
Tip: If possible I try to cool the meatballs in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, it just seems to work better.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and hide from kids and better half!
Serve and enjoy, bon appetite!