Monday, September 12, 2011


Italian Meatballs with awesome sauce - a very geometric dinner.
(Yes, slangsters, I just said "awesome sauce")
What's for dinner? It seems to be the forever unresolved question, since I'm not exactly the queen of planning ahead, and well...I'm always hungry. While a bit more than a 30 minute meal, these meatballs are versatile, make excellent left overs (if you can keep any that long), and make use of things you likely have in the fridge already. This meal actually came about from a conversation that started something like, "what am I supposed to do with all of this left over pulp from juicing?"
Juice = meatballs. Yep, makes sense to me.

This recipe can easily be doubled if you'd like to have more left over, or maybe freeze some for next week.

Italian Meatballs

1 pound ground meat (I used beef this time. Beef/pork is a great combination)
1 egg
1/4 large yellow onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
Juicer pulp from 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery (with leaves) and 1 apple (gala or fuji)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayanne pepper
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all meatball ingredients (by hand is best!) in a large bowl.
If you don't have carrot/celery/apple pulp - you can use the same ingredients grated or chopped, but use half of the original amount. The apple is optional, but does provide a very subtle mouthwatering sweetness.
Shape meat into golf ball sized balls. Arrange in mini-muffin tins for great browning, or just put them all in a square glass baking pan.
Bake until lightly browned, 30-35 minutes.

What's the white stuff? Salt. Yeah, I forgot to mix it in, so I just
sprinkledit on top before cooking. Turned out really well!
The verdict around the table was that it was plenty salty.
Not that I'd generally recommend forgetting the salt...
(Awesome) Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 tomatoes, diced (I used two romas and two small dark heirlooms from the garden)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
sea salt (to taste)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or saute pan on medium high. Add all ingredients except fresh herbs (If you have the patience to saute the onions and garlic first, go for it, but I threw everything in tonight and it was great!). Add fresh rosemary (to be removed later!). If you don't have fresh rosemary, use 1/4 tsp dried. Cover and cook on medium heat until tomatoes break down, about 20 minutes.
Remove lid and cook out excess moisture. Remove rosemary. Add fresh basil, stir and serve!

Need I say it again? Sauce. Awesome.

Meatballs can be elegant - just add soft lighting and fresh rosemary.

Variations, thoughts, improvements

-The meatballs would be great with all kinds of different herbs - some fresh parsley or sage would be fabulous. I take it kind of easy on seasonings, so dump 'em on in if you feel like it.
-If you want saucier meatballs, cook them in the sauce. You may want to add a little tomato paste with a touch of water.
-This would be a great pot luck dish out of a crock pot - needs some extra sauce to wade in and some toothpicks for serving.
-This would taste amazing on or with my new favorite rosemary almond bread (recipe forthcoming)
-If you want spaghetti and meatballs, serve on cooked spaghetti squash or grated zucchini

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