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The Hirshon Italian-American Meatballs In Red Sauce


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced guanciale (strongly preferred) or pancetta
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 anchovy fillet, minced (Ortiz brand strongly preferred)
  • 2 Calabrian chilies, chopped with 2 Tbsp of the oil they are packed in
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly-ground fennel seed
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • ½ lb. ground veal
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 ¾ cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup minced fresh oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • ***
  • Meatball Sauce:
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large Spanish onions, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 8-oz can tomato paste
  • 3 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 sprig basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium. Add the minced anchovy fillet, heat slowly until it dissolves. Add the guanciale or pancetta and sauté until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and chilies. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and then transfer the mixture to a bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge until the mixture cools, about 20 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chilled mixture with the remaining ingredients and mix well. In a small, lightly oiled sauté pan, cook a small portion of the meat mixture to taste it. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
  4. Roll the mixture into 3-ounce meatballs and place each on a parchment-lined pan. Place the sheet in the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the sheet of meatballs in the oven and cook to an internal temperature of 165°F, about 45 minutes. Allow the meatballs to cool slightly before serving. (save the juices for the sauce recipe!)
  6. ***
  7. For the sauce:
  8. In a large pot over medium heat, add the garlic, onions, and olive oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, reserved meatball juices, and the basil sprig.
  10. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and reach a sauce-like consistency, about 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Add the meatballs and simmer until the flavors combine, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately tossed with pasta or with a thick slice of Italian bread.
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