Monday, January 14, 2013

Meatballs and Marinara Monday

The day after Christmas (read: the best shopping day of the year), my mom and I headed to Stony Point Fashion Park to burn a little Christmas moo-lah. It was raining pouring like you wouldn't believe. While I usually wouldn't be down with shopping at an outdoor mall in the rain, I was all about it this day. Why? A cold, dreary day with relentless downpours (while family are still in town) = hardly any people shopping.

We hit up Sur la Table where I got these baking dishes for a steal, as well as the cutest oven mitts (this one and this one). Then we headed to Anthropologie. I wanted all the house ware items which is to be expected. My mom got this presh cake/book stand, while I got these measuring spoons and Aida Mollencamp's book, Keys To The Kitchen (seriously discounted).

This cookbook is more than just a cookbook. It has everything you need to know about most foods! Like breaking down a chicken or appropriate internal temperatures of meat - the list goes on. It's basically a comprehensive book of food, so if you're new to cooking or a well-seasoned chef, it's the perfect book to have on hand! And the food photos are pretty delish. I should maybe stock up on a few and give them as housewarming gifts?!

Anyhoo - a couple Mondays ago, we had a dreary one. The kind that demands sweats and comfort food. What better food? Do I even need to ask? Meatballs and marinara! I followed Aida's recipe for meatballs and Jenna's recipe for the marinara (recipes below). Whether you're having a dreary Monday today or not, you should probably make this. You'll thank me.

Itai-Style Meatballs (from Aida Mollencamp)

What You'll Need

  • ½Red Onion, minced
  • ½ CGrated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 3 tbsp.Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 3 tbsp. Sun-dried Tomatoes, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 ½ tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound Ground Chuck Beef, chilled
  • 1 pound Ground Pork, chilled
  • 2/3 C Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ¼ C fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Oregano, minced

How To Make Them

  • Heat the oven to 375 F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Add the onion, cheese, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and eggs into a food processor and process until very smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl along with the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, parsley and oregano and gently mix together until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the meat into 12 equal parts (I got a few more than 12 and they were huge) and roll each between your palms until you have a ball. (Keep in mind these are huge meatballs, about the size of a baseball!) Put the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake until the meatballs are firm and just cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Eat alone or eat with tomato sauce or with spaghetti.

Meat Sauce (minus the meat)

  • Follow this recipe for the Meat Sauce, just leave out the meat. 
  • This sauce is the bomb dot com. 

Cook noodles of your choosing, place a couple meatballs on top, ladle sauce over, don't forget freshly grated cheese, and eat up!

If you're cooking for one, you could either halve both recipes or make what the recipe calls for and freeze what you're not going to eat (both would freeze beautifully).

Happy Monday (I haven't found anything happy about this one . . . yet). I know people usually follow the "Meatless Monday" route, but not this girl, not today.

- Sue

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