Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vealing Very Veak

Ugh. Fighting the flu is not what I want to be doing this time of year. My kitchen misses me; saying nothing, but giving me an ingenuous look that says, "Christmas cookies...cinnamon promised."

Whenever I'm not feeling well, I tend to crave Italian food. I think it's the mild acidity of the tomato I want. A trait I must have inherited from my mother. Whenever she is sick, she wants something really spicy or acidic. After speaking with her on the phone this afternoon, she gave me a long-distance hug, and told me to take it easy. Chicken noodle soup may be good for the souls and stomachs of the ailing, but moms are usually best.

I stopped at the store to pick up some veal to make meatballs. Go for the lighter-colored veal that is well-marbled with fat.

Recipe for Veal-ly Good Meatballs:

  • 3/4 lb of ground veal
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • 1 tbsp of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • Fresh thyme leaves, about 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh chopped flat parsley leaves, about 1-2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Mix all the ingredients (except olive oil) together in a large stainless steel bowl with your hands. If it feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Roll meatballs, and place on the bottom of the pan to brown. Cook for a few minutes, then turn over. Once the outside of the meatballs look like they've cooked, cover with tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Check a meatball to see if it has cooked through, and then remove the pan from the heat, stirring a final time. Serve over pasta with fresh grated parmigiano reggiano.

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