Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Italian Meatballs

I have been baking meatballs in a mini muffin tin after reading Alton Brown's Good Eats. My Sage meatballs came out with nice brown color on the top side only, and I wasn't satisfied with the result. This time, I flipped the meatballs half way through, and they were golden brown on all sides! A regular baking sheet works fine too, but I found a mini muffin tin useful as it keeps meatballs from rolling around.

They are perfect meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs. These types of meatball recipes often call for Parmigiano Reggiano, however you can certainly substitute with Grana Padano. Just like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano is a hard granular cheese from northern Italy. Grana Padano has a slightly more delicate flavor, and it is less expensive than its counterpart. Also, you can use dried herbs instead of fresh and vice versa. I used fresh parsley since it was available at the grocery store. Generally, you can substitute one teaspoon of dried herbs with one tablespoon of fresh herbs (one to three ratio.)

These meatballs are a bit spicy. If you are making them for kids, you will probably want to omit red pepper flakes. 

Italian Meatballs
Print Recipe

1.3~1.4 lb meatloaf mix (beef, pork,veal)
1 egg
1/3 cupfinely grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano
2/3 cuppanko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 clovesgarlic, minced
1/4 cuploosely packed fresh minced parsley
1 1/2 tspdried basil
1 tspdried oregano
1/2 tspchili pepper flakes
1/2 tspsalt

  1. Prepare the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for meatballs. Mix well until well incorporated. (I recommend using plastic gloves for easy cleaning.) Wrap the bowl and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Divide the meat into 24 even pieces. Shape all the meatballs into balls and place them in a mini muffin pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out the muffin tin from the oven and flip all the meatballs. Return the pan to the oven and cook another 10 minutes. 
Serves 4~6