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Tuscan Meatballs

Recipe Date:
February 17, 2016
Serving Size:
Cook Time:
Imperial (US)

Makes 36 meatballs; serves 9-16 people, 2 per person for appetizers or 3-4 per person for an entrée.

This recipe is from Savoring SIMI Since 1876, a collection of recipes served by our winery chefs throughout our 140 year history and currently brought to life by our beloved Chef Kolin Vazzoler.

  • 12 ozs boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 12 ozs boneless short rib, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 8 ozs focaccia, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 ozs pork back fat, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 ozs pancetta, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsps fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsps fennel pollen
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsps sea salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, bread, pork fat, prosciutto, parsley, 1 tablespoon of the salt, oregano, fennel pollen, black pepper and chili flakes and mix until all of the ingredients. Place in refrigerator to stay cool and marinate for 30 mins.

Grind meat mixture with meat grinder into a container.

In 2nd bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, and milk. Put the ricotta mixture into the ground meat mixture and mix lightly until incorporated. Place into refrigerator for 1 hour for liquid to absorb into meat mixture.

Form the mixture into balls weighing approximately 1 1/2 to 2 ounces, and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheets. You should have about 35 meatballs.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 275° F.

Put the tomatoes and salt in a blender and coarsely blend to a sauce.

Put the sauce into a roasting pan and then place the meatballs into the sauce. Make sure meatballs are coated with the sauce. Add the basil leaves to sauce. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and braise for 1 1/2 hours.

To serve, grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top. Could also be served with slices of grilled rustic country bread drizzled with olive oil.

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