~From top: close-up of a pretty little meatball,
meatballs simmering in the spicy tomato sauce, the finished (re)creation~
She asks and she shall receive. I had multiple requests to sleuth out the secret to this popular dish and I'm so happy I did. This recipe is straight from chef Ruggero Gadaldi himself after I sent him a recipe request, realizing it was probably a shot in the dark. Not only did he provide the recipe, but he even followed up with details about the spices used in his signature tomato sauce. Now that is impressive customer service! It also allowed for a seamless (re)creation. The meatballs turned out tender and moist and the sauce had a great kick. I ended up halving the recipe when I made it and it turned about beautifully. It can easily be halved or multiplied depending on the number of stomachs you are feeding. Don't forget to serve the meatballs with grilled ciabatta- its perfect for soaking up that delicious spicy tomato sauce. You may even be tempted to lick the plate.
Serves 6-8 (about 20 meatballs)
1 lb ground veal
1 lb raw sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
2 cups bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs, also available in a gluten free version)
3/4 cups milk (whole or low fat)
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 bunch finely chopped fresh italian parsley
3 egg whites
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
2 tbsp tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Spicy Tomato Sauce:
2 jars of marinara sauce (24 oz each)
1-2 tsp chili flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)
Optional: Grilled Ciabatta (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Let rest for 10 minutes in the refrigerator before shaping into balls.
Before creating balls, put a little bit of olive oil on your hands to minimize sticking.
Spoon out mixture and create meatballs that are approximately 1 1/2-inch balls.
Place meatballs on a greased sheet pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes (inside temp should be 155 F when done).
Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce and chili flakes in a medium/large saucepan.
Place meatballs in the spicy tomato sauce and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve with slices of grilled ciabatta.
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