Welcome Back, dear readers.
Today I want to share with you two recipes I’ve found that work great if your kitchen, like mine, is the shape of a sleeper roomette and has all of 8 square feet of counter space, which most Manhattan kitchens are (unless they are even worse.) These recipes are selected because they are pretty tasty without featuring expensive ingredients like beef tenderloin or fresh ginger or acai or whatever’s trendy in Brooklyn now. If your kitchen is better appointed than mine, and it’s in Manhattan, I beg of thee, don’t read this post, go get your manservant or Bobby Flay to read it; and have him cook you this dinner, so you can see how the other 90% lives.
1 pound 80/20 ground meat (use beef, pork, veal, or lamb)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Italian seasoning, to taste, plus salt and pepper
Procedure: Preheat your oven to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl mix the first three ingredients with your hands until combined, then add spices. Form into 3/4-inch balls and place, ungreased, on a casserole dish (or a baking sheet, but it needs sides to catch the grease.) Bake for 25-30 minutes or until meatballs are crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Serve with pasta & Marinara Sauce.
1 can of tomatoes (12.5-15oz.), San Marzano if you’re all gourmet like that
1/4 cup olive oil
1 packet of hot pepper seeds (like from a pizzeria)
1 tsp of Italian Seasoning,
between three and seven cloves of garlic (to taste), minced
1 tsp dried basil, or, one sprig of fresh basil
Procedure: in a bowl, mash the tomatoes with your hands, or a potato masher if you have one. Get a medium-sized skillet or saucepan, place it on your range. Observe that you are not using a deep pot, like for boiling pasta, but a saucepan, and fire up the range onto ‘high’. Pour the oil into the pan and add the minced garlic. Once it’s sizzling, but before it browns, add the mashed tomatoes and the spices. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with pasta, or meatballs as above, or both.
So as you can see, these recipes are pretty much the height of gourmet cooking for people who can’t be trouble to spend more than half an hour preparing a meal. For a variation, (since I’m sure you’ll make meatballs all the time now) try using lamb or veal instead of beef or pork, because I’m sure that’s how real Italians eat.
Until Next Time,