Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, we convinced Cathy Whims to share the meatball recipe that you’ve come to know and love since we opened our doors. “They’re small and elegant, yet hearty and will appeal to everyone, not just hungry guys. Meatballs are a delicious no-brainer for any party,” exclaims Cathy.
You can brown the meatballs ahead of time and then reheat them in Marcella’s easy tomato butter sauce. Speared with a toothpick or a sprig of rosemary, they make for the perfect fun-loving one-bite antipasti.
Nostrana Pork and Beef Meatballs
2/3 lb ground pork
1/3 lb ground beef
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs parsley, minced
zest of one lemon
¼ cup grated parmigiano
1 cup bread, soaked in milk
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet and sauté the onion and garlic. When it is translucent add the parsley and lemon zest. Stir for a minute or two.
In a mixing bowl add ground pork and ground beef, onion, garlic and parsley mix, lemon zest, grated parmigiano, the soaked bread and salt and pepper.
Form meat into balls 1” to 1 ½ “ in diameter. In a skillet with oil or butter, sauté until brown, but not cooked all the way through (they finish cooking in the sauce).
Marcella’s Tomato Butter Sauce
adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan
1 28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
pinch of sugar
Crush tomatoes with hands while adding to medium sauce pan, adding juice as well. Add butter, onion, salt and sugar. Cook at a slow but steady simmer, uncovered until fat separates from tomatoes, about 45 minutes. Discard onion and correct taste for salt.
Summer Variation: Substitute 2 lbs. fresh ripe plum tomatoes, peeled
Enough sauce for 1 lb. spaghetti or ¾ lb. fresh fettuccine
Nostrana Meatball Antipasti
Make the meatballs and the sauce in advance by following the above steps. Just before serving simmer the meatballs in the sauce in a covered pot over low heat until cooked through, 20-30 minutes.
Arrange the meatballs on a platter with the sauce. Spear each ball with a toothpick or sprig of rosemary.