Can you find a universal recipe to make meatballs? I don’t think so! Every family has its own magic combination of ingredients. Follow this recipe and yours too will be amazing.
How do you make simple meatballs?
The simplest and the most delicious require only a few ingredients but have plenty of flavor. To make them, I always mix the same ingredients: leftover cooked meat, herbs, a little mortadella and Parma ham, eggs, and breadcrumbs.
You may mix different types of meat, and then stir in some cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano for instance, along with an egg, the “binding agent,” which helps all the other ingredients stick together.
What can you replace breadcrumbs with?
I usually add a few breadcrumbs to the mixture, but if you don’t have any, or you fancy something different, you may add some crushed crackers. Add a mashed, boiled potato for fluffier and more delicate meatballs.
How many eggs should I use?
I usually add 1 egg for 2 lbs (1 kilo) of cooked meat. More eggs will make the meatballs more compact.
Can you fry the meatballs?
Yes, I usually fry them. Once you have shaped the meatballs, they must hold together, so I fry them in plenty of very hot oil. Their crispy crust seals the meat so they won’t fall apart in the tomato sauce.
- Heat the oil to 320°-356° F (160°-180°C) before adding the meatballs. One trick is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see a lot of bubbles form around the wood, the oil is ready for frying. If you use too little oil, the meatballs will absorb all the oil.
- Do not put too many meatballs into the oil at a time because they will lower its temperature and will absorb more oil without getting crispy;
- Do not add any oil while frying;
- Check for doneness and transfer them to a paper towel with a perforated spoon to drain.
What kind of oil do you fry meatballs in?
You must definitely use good oil which can withstand high temperatures. In Italy, olive oil, or even extra virgin olive oil, is preferred because of its high smoke point. Peanut oil can replace olive oil, but you should not fry in canola or vegetable oils, which are bad for you. Never fry in the same oil twice.
How long do you have to brown meatballs before letting them finish in the sauce?
Fry each side of the meatballs for about 3-4 minutes. Add them to the skillet and brown them for about 1 or 2 minutes. After, turn them and fry for another 1-2 minutes. The meatballs should be evenly and completely cooked with a crispy exterior.
Can I cook raw meatballs in the sauce?
Well, you should not throw raw meatballs into the sauce because they tend to fall apart and won’t be crispy.
How long do you have to cook meatballs in sauce?
Use a high-quality tomato sauce or canned peeled tomatoes. Heat the sauce and when it is hot, add the fried meatballs. Simmer them for a few minutes and turn them gently until the sauce has clung to the meatballs. Then remove them from the heat and let them sit for a while. I usually prepare my meatballs the day before serving them.
Should meatballs be slightly pink inside?
Meatballs are usually slightly less cooked inside than outside; however, since they are made from cooked meat, they are definitely safe to eat.
What can you combine meatballs with for a balanced dinner?
I usually combine them with a green salad, some bread, or some boiled potatoes.
Tasty Meatballs—Delicious and Easy to Make
- 7 oz of cooked meat (roasted or boiled) (200g)
- 4 oz of Parma ham (100g)
- 4 oz of mortadella or thinly sliced salami (100g)
- 5 leaves of sage
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs
- Red pepper flakes
- Some fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil for frying
- Wash and clean the herbs: remove them from their stalks and put aside;
- Coarsely dice the meat and put it into the bowl of a food processor with the leaves of the herbs, the mortadella, the Parma ham, and the breadcrumbs;
- Pulse only until mixed;
- Shape 15 meatballs the size of a golf ball with your hands;
- Roll the meatballs into the flour to coat them so that they will absorb less oil during the frying process;
- Fill a dutch oven with about a ½ inch (1cm) of oil and heat it;
- When the oil is hot, fry the meatballs until they are brown and crispy on both sides;
- Transfer the meatballs to a paper towel to drain;
- In the meanwhile, cook your tomato sauce; bring the sauce to a simmer and add the meatballs;
- Serve very hot with crusty bread.