the most tender meatballs ever

Today was a weekend snow day. The town is allegedly expected to get about 14 inches of snow which makes me feel a million times better about my level of activity. I've been sitting in nearly the same spot on the couch for about 5 hours at this point. But to be fair, I did go to the gym, two grocery stores, a thrift shop and Dunkin Donuts all before Noon.

When I realized it was going to snow all day, I immediately started to think about what meal would be the best fit. My first thought was of course a big ole batch of chili - but when I couldn't decide on a recipe... I ended up making these meatballs.... and I'm not the least bit upset. These meatballs are so tender that it is insane.

I almost ate these meatballs the way I normally do - by themselves in a bowl. But instead, I made a real meal out of it with bucatini pasta and the Ina Garten homemade sauce from last weekend. It was not disappointing. Here are a few other things of note:

  • Food Processor // I used the food processor this time to mix the onion, garlic, parsley, and ricotta. It was so much easier and I feel like it really helped all the ingredients become much more well combined.
  • Bucatini Pasta // The last time I bought bucatini was about a million years ago - or more specifically 2007. At that time it was kind of a disappointment, but this time was great. The noodles were much smaller and more flexible. Pasta can be flexible right?
  • Parmesan + Sauce // I don't know if other people do this but I mixed the parmesan into the sauce before adding in the pasta. I will now do this all the time. It feels genius.
Here's how it goes.

  1. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix in the milk.
  2. Put the onions, garlic and herbs in the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in the ricotta and egg. Pulse until combined again. 
  3. Add the ricotta and meat to the breadcrumb bowl. Gently combine until evenly incorporated. Use might have to use your hands. 
  4. Pinch off small amounts of the mixture and roll into meatballs, placing them on a plate or platter. I used an ice cream scoop but didn't fill it the whole way. I'd say the balls were about 2 inches in diameter.
  5. Bake the meatballs on a foil lined sheet at 400 F for about 25 minutes. 
Shopping List
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 to 1/2 cups milk
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup loosely-packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tsp dried basil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup fresh ricotta
2-3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork

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