Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ teaspoon dry oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, pureed in a blender
¼ cup whole milk
4 slices white bread, minced in a
food processor (about 3 cups)
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground lean grass-fed beef
Salt and freshly ground
¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper and ¼ teaspoon oregano, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 450º. Whisk together the egg and milk. Add the bread to moisten completely. Squeeze to remove some of the moisture, and place in a bowl with the pork, beef, ½ teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
(Test the mixture for flavor by frying a small patty until cooked through.) Form the mixture into 50 to 60 ¾-inch meatballs, and place 1 inch apart on oiled rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, and simmer for 30 minutes. To serve, garnish with Parmigiano.
Photo courtesy of unknown1861/Shutterstock.com
JOANNE WEIR is a cookbook author, TV chef and leader of culinary tours (for information, go to joanneweir.com).
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