Friday, October 31, 2014

Enza's Oven fried Polpette (Meatballs)

I am not sure when my mother started cooking her meatballs in the oven.  My father requested it one day I believe.    I am not even sure if it makes any sense at all.   They do get nice and crispy under the broiler in the oven.  How can you eat just one?  Getting the temperature right is key along with keeping a watchful eye on them.  Here is the recipe:
One oven proof pan about 12 inches in diameter
3/4  pound of ground  beef (lean 90 percent lean)
1/2 pound lean ground pork, veal or turkey
2 teaspoon salt
one teaspoon pepper
2 eggs plus 2 tablespoons milk 
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
3 tablespoons  diced yellow or white onion
1 clove garlic diced
One handful of parsley diced
sprig of fresh basil
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs made from day old bread

Into a deep bowl, mix together your ingredients. 

Make the meatballs about 1-2 inches in diameter.  Pass them in bread crumbs again and Set them on Parchment paper and let rest for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

Method:  Set your oven to 300 degrees / bake to warm up.
Place your pan in the oven to warm up.  Remove your pan from the hot oven.
Place some (brush) olive oil to coat the pan.
Place your meatballs in the pan.  Place the oven on low broil.  
Keep watch and after 5 minutes, give them a shake.  Your cooking time is going to depend on the size of your meatballs.  You should get about 20 meatballs from this recipe.  Continue to cook for a few minutes  until they are browned completely.  They cook pretty fast.  Remove them from the oven and shake them again so they  move freely in the pan.
Let cool before serving.  They will be hard to resist.   You can now either add them to your sauce or just enjoy hot out of the oven.  Buon Appetito!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pasta con Ceci (Chick Peas, Sauce version)

I love keeping cooked beans in the freezer.  I keep them measured out in 2 and 4 cup bags ready to go at any time.  Use them for soups or a Pasta sauce, or just alone as a side dish.  They are so versatile and so good for you.  Why don't we eat them more often?
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes and their juice (You can dice them or put them in the blender first)
1/2 cup white wine
12oz of Rigatoni or tube Pasta shape that is wide enough so the sauce will get inside the pasta.
2 teaspoons of salt.
Optional/ basil/ parsley/rosemary/ whichever you prefer.

Serves 4
Heat your olive oil in a large enough pan to accommodate your ingredients at the end.  Add your garlic until fragrant.  Add your chickpeas and saute.  With the back of your spoon, smash a few of your chickpeas.  Keep mixing for about 5 minutes until your chickpeas are heated through.  Add your tomatoes, wine, 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a simmer.  Set your lid ajar and let your sauce cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Your sauce is done when a ring forms around your sauce in your skillet.  Set your sauce aside to cool.   Cook your pasta and drain.   Toss in the skillet and serve. You don't need anything else.  It's very filling and satisfying all by itself.  Buon Appetito.