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Posts Tagged ‘meatballs’

There’s something consistently comforting about homemade meatballs and tomato sauce for Sunday supper.  Maybe it’s the act of mixing and rolling the meat with your bare hands; an organic and ritualistic labor of love. Or, perhaps it’s just the sweet warm aroma of onion, garlic, fresh basil and tomatoes wafting off the stove.  Whatever it is, we couldn’t get enough of it this week when we tried Lidia Bastianich’s “polpette” with our spicy tomato-basil sauce. Instead of serving the dish over spaghetti, we baked a pan of polenta and then fried the squares in olive oil.  Light crunch on the outside with a soft, warm, heartiness on the inside — perfect with a dollop of tangy sauce.

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Crusty French bread, spicy/salty pork meatballs and tangy, crisp grated carrot and diakon — the essential ingredients for an incredible bánh mì, or popular type of Vietnamese sandwich.  This recipe caught my attention back in January, but I waited until this summer to give it a try so I could take advantage of all that my local farmers’ market has to offer.   Since so much Vietnamese cooking features natural herbs and root vegetables, fresh produce is essential. (e.g. the ground pork in this case came from a small, family-owned farm in Virginia that showed me a photo of the pig before I bought it!)

The meatballs are oven-roasted and incredibly tasty, defined by savory garlic, spicy hot chili paste and a dash of salty fish sauce.  And as a cool and crunchy counterpoint, the grated carrot, diakon and cucumber are lightly pickled in rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar. Top it all off with a handful of fresh cilantro sprigs.

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chickenmeatballs

I’m usually not a big fan of pasta once the warmer weather rolls around, but even when it was almost 90 degrees in New York City a couple weeks ago, this dish won me over. The cherry tomato, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella combo stands out among the ear-shaped pasta tossed in a light and simple olive oil/chicken broth “sauce.”

turkeymeatballs

But it’s the mini chicken meatballs that put this dish over the top. They are tender and delicious!

Mix one pound of ground white meat chicken or turkey with:  1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 chopped parsley, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 3/4 cup grated romano cheese, and salt/pepper to taste. Brown the little balls in olive oil over high heat, 9-10 minutes.

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