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I struggled with the idea of meatballs for a long time.  First, because I’d never made them (until recently), and second, I’m becoming paranoid of undercooked ground meat in age.

Good golly these are E A S Y.  A while back when we made a Greek feast for the in-laws, hubs made meatballs.  Wow!

These meatballs are made with pork and beef.  Next time I do Greek fare, I’d love to do beef and lamb.

For easy and delicious gluten-free meatballs, here’s what you need:

  • Ground beef and pork (go half and half; this time I used about a pound of each)
  • Whole sweet onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic (a lot or a little… I like a lot but we ran out!!), smashed & chopped
  • Fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 eggs (or if you’re using 1 pound of meat total, then one egg will do)
  • Balsamic vinegar (just a dash- I was going to use the Worcestershire, but it had corn. boo).
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • Your favorite gluten-free flower (we used Bob’s Red Mill flour mix)

Mix everything except flower with spoons/forks/hands.  Once you get a feel for the consistency, then add your flour to thicken up the mixture a little.  Once they texture is good, then start rolling.  Since we had a lot of meatballs to roll, I decided a baking sheet would be best.

Lightly flour the surface before putting down the meatballs, then flour the tops.  *sidenote* when “flouring” the surface, I would recommend sifting the flour.  Generally I despise sifting (and never do), but in this case it’s really helpful.  No need for a fancy sifter thing, just a small wire strainer with small holes does the trick.

Ooh!  My lunch pizza just gave me a great idea.  Next time I make these I’ll throw in some sun dried tomatoes.  Mmm!

In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil and fry up those meatballs!  I don’t remember exactly how l cooked these, but they weren’t perfectly round after they were done…  but when they’re done (you may have to cook them in batches), remove from heat and set aside for the sauce.  Unless this is your dish, then you’re done!

Those are some delicious balls.  giggle.

And now for the sauce!  When I was younger and living alone, I’d love to take a day to make a big pot of sauce, and watch the Godfather.  Remember that part when Clemenza teaches Michael how to make a good sauce?  Mmm.  I love it.

I’ve gotten some grief for my “sauce recipe” over the years: once upon a time it was a post-it note on my fridge: tomatoes. garlic. herbs. wine.  I’ve made it a little more user friendly.

  • Big can whole tomatoes (no seasonings); chopped
  • Regular can tomato sauce (smooth, again no seasonings)
  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, finely chopped
  • Lots: Basil, oregano
  • Less: Marjoram, thyme
  • dry is okay for the herbs… only in the summer when the garden is going crazy do I use fresh herbs.
  • Bay leaf
  • Wine
  • Sugar
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional but recommended)

Salt and pepper is just implied.  Here we go!

In the same pan you cooked the meatballs, toss in some olive oil and sweat your onions until they get translucent, just a few minutes.  Then add garlic.  (and hover to smell while your glasses fog up).

Next, add the herbs.  I did this earlier than I normally do, but then again, I’ve been adding herbs before tomatoes for a long time.  Rule of thumb: add enough basil and oregano (each) to get the entire surface seasoned; add about half as much thyme and marjoram.  Add a bay leaf for good measure.

Next, after wordpress deletes your work…. arg!

Add your tomatoes and sauce.  Pour all the juice from the whole tomato can and chop up the tomatoes.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like eating the core of a tomato.  Also, use a good organic or Italian brand.  We had Cento for this batch; San P____ ?? is another good one.. I wish I could remember.  Anyhoo.  Add the chopped tomatoes and can of sauce.  Then a few good glugs of wine.  And a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity.

Let it simmer for a while and get happy.  After a little while, taste it and see if you need to re-season.  Then throw the meatballs back in.

On to the pasta.  I don’t think I need to say much about this, except I love spaghetti.  This is a new thing.  Before you drain your pasta, pour some pasta water into the sauce so you don’t have a big watery mess in the bottom of your pasta bowl.  Trust me.

This is so easy. And delicious.  A little time consuming, but totally worth it!!