Thursday, August 14, 2008

Neopolitan Meatballs with Bolognese-Style Sauce

As I write this, I am enjoying a small dish of meatballs with sauce - no pasta, no extra cheese. These meatballs are totally awesome. The texture is perfect and they are completely satisfying as I chew them, and afterward they leave me full and content. The sauce (Bolognese-Style Pasta Sauce) is equally fantastic, the best sauce I ever made. I will put these meatballs and sauce in my regular rotation!

This was the second time during the week that I made these meatballs. I had made them earlier this week, following the recipe, and I felt they were too delicate and the texture was off. Also, I had used the wrong kind of seasoning, so the flavor was off too. So I remade them, making adjustments, and creating perfection! I'm so proud of myself.

I'm going to make a huge batch before school starts back up (in just over a week) and portion it out into lunch-size servings and freeze them. I can see the future - in a hurry trying to get out of the house. No worries about lunch. I'll just grab a lunch-size container of them out of the freezer and I'll be good to go. Lunch will fill me up and I'll enjoy every bite. I'll meet my protein intake for the day, and I'll have some fiber too. Life will be good.

Neopolitan Meatballs with Bolognese-Style Sauce
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine

yield: 24 meatballs

1 pound 93% ground beef
1/3 cup bulgar wheat
2 cups bread (french - not a baguette), cut into cubes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon oil (for cooking the meatballs)

Bolognese-Style Pasta Sauce


Place the bulgar in a medium bowl. Add boiling water, covering the bulgar one inch above. Cover the bowl tightly and let sit for a half hour to absorb water. It won't absorb all the water, but that's okay!

Add water too the french bread and stir it around with your hands. I added enough so that the bread got wet in all parts, but I didn't add extra water. Once it's wet, put it into a sieve and press the extra water out of it so that no more water can be removed. Put the bread in a medium bowl.

Put the bulgar into the sieve and strain out all of the extra water. Add the bulgar to the bowl with the bread.

To that bowl, add the remaining ingredients (eggs, Parmesan, beef, cinnamon, salt, and pepper). Mix together with your hands - they are the best tools! Mix it completely so you can't see the different ingredients - just one big mass of mixture.

Form your meatballs. I got 24 meatballs. Here's what they looked like (compared to the size of a penny). They were between 1 1/2 - 2 inches in diameter:

Heat up a nonstick pan. Add the tablespoon of oil. Place the meatballs in the pan. But be careful to leave about two inches of space between the meatballs. You'll need room for them as you roll them to cook them on all sides. I had to cook the meatballs in 3 different batches before adding them to the sauce.

When the meatballs are browned on each side, carefully place them into the sauce as it cooks. They will finish cooking in the sauce for an additional hour.

Now you've got perfection! Yum!

You could serve them plain, or with pasta. But I bet they would make a great meatball sandwich too.

Neopolitan Meatballs with Bolognese-Style Sauce

As I write this, I am enjoying a small dish ...

See Neopolitan Meatballs with Bolognese-Style Sauce on Key Ingredient.


Kevin said...

That looks really good!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Meryl, wonderful recipe. I love pasta and homemade sauce and meatballs. It's one of my favorite comfort foods. This recipe is excellent. I love the way you re-adjusted your recipe to suit your taste. That what being a foodie is all about. Great post!

Michele said...

Beautiful photos! You're seasonings are much different than mine when making meatballs. I'm going to have to give your combination a try. I've gotten into the habit lately of not frying my meatballs first, but cooking them directly in the sauce. You don't get the crispiness on the outside, but they unbelievably tender. I agree with you...the meatballs on their own can make the best meal. Great post!

Meryl said...

Thank you Michele! The meatballs were oh so good! I'll definitely have to make them again soon.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Meryl, thanks for stopping by my site. Long time since we've talked. I read you're back at school and I'm sure you have your hands full. You take care of yourself and have a great school year. Talk to you again soon.