Last night, Nick invited one of his classmates and his wife over for dinner and studying. (Though I’m pretty sure more eating than studying got done). Though Nick and I will eat almost anything you put in front of us, I’ve found that most people are a whole lot more picky than us. Since I knew nothing about his friends, I wanted to make something that 95% of the population likes. Pasta and Italian food is usually somewhere at the top of that list.
Pasta and a jar of sauce is easy, but not very impressive. I decided it would be acceptable if I dressed it up with something homemade. And what goes better with pasta and sauce than meatballs??
This recipe comes from my friend Emily, who I’ve known since high school. When we were both living in Boston after college, we used to have “girls nights,” where we’d cook for each other and watch America’s Next Top Model together. Her food was always awesome, so I knew this recipe wouldn’t disappoint. Emily can’t eat red meat, and used ground turkey in her meatballs. I went with beef to avoid complaints from the meatatarian, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.
(makes about 20)
- 1 cup italian style breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 italian sausage links, casings removed
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- salt & pepper, to taste
In a medium mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs and milk, and let sit a minute.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients.
Mix well. Don’t be afraid to use your hands and get a little dirty! Hands work much better than a spoon. Between the wine and the garlic, I was in scent heaven. As gross as the raw meat looked, it smelled so good I almost wanted to sneak a taste as if it were cookie dough! I didn’t.
Add the breadcrumb mix to the meat mix, and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Form the meat mixture into balls. (I used heaping tablespoons, but you could make small, mini, or giant ones too). Place the meatballs on an oiled cookie sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through to brown evenly.
I served the meatballs with pasta and red sauce. I thought I had spaghetti at home, so I didn’t buy any, and then found out I was wrong. So spaghetti and meatballs turned into short curly noodles and meatballs, but it still worked! Steamy…
I was so impressed with myself! The meatballs were really good. And really very easy. There’s absolutely no excuse to ever buy premade meatballs again. Pasta isn’t one of Nick’s top foods, but meat (ball form included) is, so next time I’m thinking toasty meatball subs? Or maybe with some risotto? I’m thinking about taking Emily’s advice and making a batch to freeze, though I know even in the freezer they won’t last long!