If you are looking for Italian meatballs cooked in tomato sauce with red wine, this isn't it. What this is is the most delicate of meatballs cooked in red wine with a dark red wine sauce at the end. The best compliment came from my brother who proclaimed them the best meatballs he'd ever had and immediately took out a piece of paper to write the recipe. That he's never done before so how's that for an endorsement!
This recipe is loosely adapted from Lorenza de Medici's. When I served the original dish I made it exactly as the recipe called for/ We loved the meatballs but were a bit disappointed in the sauce or lack of it. When my brother came and it was just the two of us for dinner one night, I had some uncooked ones in the freezer and decided to experiment with the sauce by adding more wine, a little tomato and some pasta water. The result was extraordinary.
I would skip the spaghetti and serve with a baguette, a green salad and a nice bottle of wine. That is all you need!
3/4 lbs ground veal**
3/4 lbs ground sirloin
handful country bread soaked in milk and squeezed dry
1 TB dry mustard
2 TB fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1 C all purpose flour
2 TB unsalted butter
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup Pomi Chopped tomatoes*
In a bowl combine the meats, bread, mustard, parsley, garlic, eggs and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. and mix with your hands until all ingredients are perfectly blended. Form into round patties, about inch long and dust with flour, wiping out excess. (Do this right before you sautee)
In a frying pan, melt the butter with the oil. Add patties and brown on both sides, turning gently, about 5 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup wine and bring to a boil, reduce. Add 1/2 Cup of Pomi chopped tomatoes, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Uncover and add another 1/2 cup of wine. Let it reduce a bit. If cooking pasta add some of the pasta water if needed.
*Pomi chopped tomatoes can be found in most grocery stores where the canned tomatoes are found.
**the original recipe calls for 1/2 lbs ground chicken, 1/2 lbs ground pork and 1/2 lbs ground veal.