The recipe calls for great big meatballs served over pasta which are often better in theory than in practice and while they were tasty I will make twice as many next time at half the size - just personal preference for hubby and I.
Most meatball recipes call for equal amounts of pork and beef, but theirs uses much more beef than pork - a mixture that held its shape well, but allowed for very moist meatballs. I made just a few changes to use what I had on hand and hubby said it was some of the best I ever made.
MEATBALLS & MARINARA serves 8 easily
recipe CHANGES in red
1 shallot, chopped fine
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Cook onions and shallot until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Transfer half of onion mixture to large bowl and set aside.
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup water
4 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaf
1 - 2 teaspoons sugar, as needed
- Add tomato paste to remaining onion mixture in pot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add wine and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in water and tomatoes, simmering over low heat until sauce is no longer watery, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Stir in cheese and basil and adjust seasonings with salt and sugar.
3/4 cup milk
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80 percent lean)
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.
- Mash bread and milk in bowl with reserved onion mixture until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients, except ground beef, to bowl and mash to combine.
- Add beef and knead with hands until well combined.
- Form mixture into 2 1/2-inch meatballs (you should have about 16 meatballs), place on rimmed baking sheet, and bake until well browned, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer meatballs to pot with sauce.
- Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over pasta. (Meatballs and marinara can be frozen for up to 1 month.)