I haven’t done a foodie post in a while! Not that I haven’t been cooking, it’s just that lots of the things I’ve made haven’t really had an Italian flair. But this one, definitely has that Italian taste to it! Looking at the picture, it looks like a pizza, doesn’t it? But really, it’s a plate full of medium sized meatballs covered with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese! Delizioso!
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
4 minced garlic cloves
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 c. bread crumbs
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 cups marinara sauce
Mix together the meats, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Season with preferred seasonings. Form the meatballs (not too large – about 1 inch in diameter) and set aside.
Heat oven to 395.
Pour some sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Position the meatballs all around. Cover the meatballs with the remainder of the sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and cook in the oven until the meatballs are cooked through (about 45-50 minutes). Be careful taking the dish out of the oven as the sauce may have boiled over.
When I was a young child, we used to visit Italy about every 3 years – mostly to see my grandparents, cousins, and aunts. During those visits, I spent a lot of time with my Nonna Luigia. Nonna was an excellent cook (in fact, she had owned a restaurant while my dad was growing up). Every night we would be invited to Nonna’s house for dinner. I was always amazed how she could cook up some great meals – all without having an oven. She only had a small cooktop, but she’d whip up some delicious dinners. One of those delicasies was Vitello Tonnato! This is the perfect dish to enjoy on a warm summer evening. Last night, on another warm summer evening, I decided to try my luck with this recipe. As soon as I took my first taste, I was transported back to my Nonna’s little apartment many years ago!
The first part involves preparing the roast. This should be done in advance so it has time to cool.
900 gram Veal roast, tied up (ask the butcher to do this for you)
2 carrots, cut in half
1 onion, cut into pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into pieces
Small bunch of parsley
1/4 liter white wine
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the meat, wine and vegetables to the pot. Cover and poach gently for approximately 1 hour. Take the pan off the heat and allow the veal to cool down in the broth. Reserve some of the broth for the sauce. Wrap the roast in foil and place it in the refrigerator until it is completely cold.
For the sauce:
200 g of tuna fillets packed in oil
3 – 4 salted anchovies
2 hard boiled egg yolks
2 T. capers
4 T. olive oil
Juice of l large lemon
4-5 T. of veal broth
Salt & pepper to taste
Blend together the tuna, anchovies, egg yolks and capers in a Cuisinart. Pour in the lemon juice and olive oil and blend until smooth.
Add the broth bit by bit until you have a nice spreading consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut up the veal into thin slices and arrange them on a large serving dish. Coat with the sauce and sprinkle some capers on the top. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving.