(Mostly) Organic Meatballs

The key: fresh/all-natural/organic ingredients wherever possible!

I could only find whole seed organic fennel – good excuse to use my mortar and pestle!

Fresh grated pecorino romano and minced garlic for some punch

Throw it all together….

Mix with love – by hand.

Roll into golf-ball sized meatballs and watch ’em get beautiful.

Sauce ’em up.

Et voila! (Maybe I’m just a little more proud of myself than is called for…)

Hello! I’m Jessica’s pesca-vegetarian friend Jordan, here to offer up the occasional guest post or two. I’m super excited to join Jess in sharing our kitchen adventures! With her words of wisdom, I have begun my own study of preparing more all-natural, organic dishes, and like her, I am always on the quest to make food that satisfies my desire to cook something new, while satisfying my husband’s desire for something delicious. This recipe is one that hit the mark.Enjoy!

(Mostly) Organic Meatballs
Adapted from http://www.epicurious.com:80/recipes/food/views/Classic-Beef-Meatballs-369151#ixzz1lvDOhbsz

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds 93/7 ogranic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 large organic eggs (or 1/2 cup egg beaters)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic (more if you like!)
  • grated pecorino romano (I used about 1/3 of a wedge)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel (I used whole seed organic fennel, ground with a mortar and pestle and sifted with a mesh colander)
  • 4 cups tomato sauce (I used Seeds of Change)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle a 9×13 pan with olive oil and coat the entire surface evenly using your hand. Set aside.

Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, fennel, garlic and grated cheese in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches, makes 50), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

While the meatballs are roasting, heat the tomato sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often.

When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan. Pour the tomato sauce over them. Return the meatballs to the oven and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.

Serve with organic whole wheat spaghetti, and dig in.

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