Meatballs and Marinara SauceServes 6 to 8 people:
1 ⅔ cup chicken stock
3 large eggs
½ tablespoon dried basil
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ cup olive oil
2.5-3 28 oz. San Marzano tomato cans
1 ¼ cup small dice Spanish onion
3 basil sprigs
¼ cup chopped garlic
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Ground pepper (3 turns for the sauce and 4 turns for the meatballs)
1 lb. Ground veal
1 lb. Ground beef
1 lb. Ground pork
½ cup Grated pecorino romano
1 ¾ cup drained ricotta
½ cup grated Parm
1 pinch Calabrian chili flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
¼ cup water
- Take the ricotta out and put it into a fine mesh strainer. Cover it with plastic wrap and place a pound of butter, or some kind of weight, on the covered ricotta. This will help drain all the extra liquid from the ricotta.
- Place the ground beef, veal and pork in a large mixing bowl.
- Now, you can add the ground Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano, drained ricotta, salt, Calabrian chili, ground pepper, dried basil, oregano and eggs. Mix well with your hands until all is incorporated. Hold in the refrigerator and start making your Marinara sauce.
- Get a heavy bottomed pot and turn on flame to low. Open the tomatoes and put them through a food mill. Finely dice the onions. The pot should be hot now. So, add the olive oil and onions and a pinch of salt.
- Stir until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Do not brown the onions.
- Now, you can add the crushed garlic and bay leaf. Gently stir for a minute or two, until the garlic gets cooked out. Add the tomatoes and red wine vinegar.
- Simmer for 45 minutes. When the sauce is almost finished, add the salt and pepper. Now, have a taste. Feel free to add more salt, pepper and/or Calabrian Chili.
- While the marinara sauce is cooking, take the meatball mixture out of the refrigerator. Using an OXO Cookie Scoop, size each scoop to 3 ½ inches in diameter.
- After you scoop, make sure to roll out the meatballs in the palms of your hands to decrease the number of cracks.
- Once you have scooped all the meatballs, get a heavy bottomed pan (Read: cast iron) and heat on a medium-high flame.
- When it is hot, gently place the meatballs in the pan and brown on all sides. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan as that will steam the meatballs, instead of browning them. As soon as they are all browned, off-place the meatballs in the simmering marinara sauce.
- Add the chicken stock and water in with the meatballs. Continue to simmer for another hour, gently stirring every 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Or cool down, then refrigerate for up to one week.