Rocco DiSpirito’s Mama’s Meatballs
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- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 6 cups Mama’s Marinara (recipe follows) or your favorite marinara
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Marinara
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Chili flakes, to taste
- 2 28-ounce cans tomato purée, Red Pack brand if possible
- 1 28-ounce. can crushed tomatoes, Red Pack brand if possible
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste, Red Pack brand if possible
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Salt, to taste
Place the chicken stock, onion, garlic and parsley in a blender or food processor and purée.
In a large bowl, combine the puréed stock mix, meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmigiano-
uniform. Do not over mix.
Put a little olive oil on your hands and form mixture into balls a little larger than golf balls.
They should be about 1/4 cup each, though if you prefer bigger or smaller, it will only affect the
Pour about 1/2-inch of extra virgin olive oil into a straight-sided, 10-inch-wide sauté pan and
heat over medium-high flame. Add the meatballs to the pan (working in batches if necessary)
and brown meatballs, turning once. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
While the meatballs are browning, heat the marinara sauce in a stockpot over medium heat.
Lift the meatballs out of the sauté pan with a slotted spoon and put them in the marinara sauce.
Stir gently. Simmer for one hour.
Serve with a little extra Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top. Serve alone or over spaghetti
(in which case, you will need 6 cups of marinara).
For the marinara, Cook the garlic and onion in the olive oil in a sauce pot over a medium-low flame, about 10 minutes or until garlic is tender and onions translucent, not brown (this is called "sweating" because it will draw out a lot of moisture and flavor). Add the chili flakes to taste.
Add all the tomato products. Pour the chicken stock into one of the 28-oz cans. Fill it the rest of the way with water and add that and the sugar to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and cover. Simmer the sauce for about 1 hour. The sauce should be fairly thin, but not watery and very smooth. Uncover and simmer for 3 minutes if it is too thin for your taste; add a little water if it seems thick.- Yields 6 cups