Jul 28, 2009

Tomato Sauce with Atomic Italian Meatballs

I don't eat beef anymore and I avoid Lasagnas, meat sauce, and meatballs in Italian restaurants. But I used to eat beef a long, long time ago and am familiar with the tastes of the above dishes. oh my, so good. Using ground turkey or chicken makes a great substitute in my opinion and I use it to recreate these yummy dishes. I recently bought ground chicken and after making my nuclear sheek kababs, I still had some meat left over. I decided to try out Italian meatballs!
Most meatball recipes I looked up used eggs to bind the meat or perhaps to keep 'em moist. Either way, I'm not a fan of cooking with eggs so my recipe is a little different. I have paired this post with a tomato sauce recipe from LV.

sidenote: If you haven't caught on by now: Atomic implies insane amounts of garlic and nuclear implies insane amounts of garlic AND other spices. I should patent this usage.

Atomic Italian Meatballs: Makes about 10 medium sized meatballs (Approximated the amounts here. since it was my first time making it, I wasn't paying attention to the amounts)

1/2 lb of Ground chicken
1/4-1/2 cup of bread crumbs ( I make my own bread crumbs: normal wheat toasted, ground with italian spices and you got it, garlic powder)
italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, whatever you have on hand) - 1tspn or so
fresh garlic - minced about 5-10 cloves (yea, i was serious about the "atomic" bit)
Garlic + Herb powder - 1/2 tspn (definitely optional at this point ;) )
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to pan fry the meat balls and about 1-2 tspn to mix in with the meat
Parmesean cheese - 1/4-3/4 cup.

1. Basically, you mix everything thoroughly including the 1-2tspn of olive oil. I let this sit for about 10-15 minutes. Roll into balls of desired size; i kept them medium because I wasn't sure how long they take to cook and i wanted them thoroughly cooked before I added them to my sauce.

2. In a non-stick shallow pan add olive oil to coat bottom and let it heat up on medium heat. Add the meatballs and slow cook them on medium-low. Cover them to ensure they remain moist.

3. After about 10 minutes (give or take) they should be done. I would recommend doing just one test meatball first to taste and make sure that the seasoning is fine.

4. drop into tomato sauce (I used store bought in the above picture) and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of cooked pasta.

Here is a recipe for homemade tomato sauce from LV:

8 tomatoes (I leave the skin on, but you can remove it too)
1/4C olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chopped carrot
A handful each: fresh parsley, fresh basil, and fresh oregano--chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4th tsp ground red chilli peppers
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Bay leaf
3 Tb Red wine
1/2 Tb corn starch
1 can tomato paste (I've tried leaving this out, but trust me, put it in)
***Optional: lemon zest, extra carrots, zuchinni, parmesan
****Tip: if you have parmesan rinds, add them in while the sauce is
cooking and scoop them out at the end for extra flavor.

1. Marinate the Chef
2. Saute garlic, onion, carrot, bellpepper and bay leaf in the olive
oil in a very large pot.
3. Add all the other ingredients except for the corn starch and tomato paste.
4. Simmer for 2 hours.
5. Mix wine with corn starch and stir into simmering sauce. Add tomato
paste until the sauce looks and tastes right to you.

No comments: