Food52 – How to Make Any Meatballs in 5 Steps


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Meatballs are by definition not a recipe kind of food, but here goes. You need some meat -- about a pound of it -- and you will make them into balls. They need something to bind them (that is where eggs and breadcrumbs come in), and some seasoning and flavor, especially if you are using poultry meat as we tend to.

1 small onion
1 lb. ground meat
1 spoonful tomato paste
1 cup salty cheese
1 splash milk
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 bunch green herbs
1 lb. pasta
1 cup red sauce

1. Get a small onion or some shallots cooking in oil. Once they've softened, let them cool – they'll be going in your meatballs.

2. In a large bowl, mix up about a pound of dark turkey meat, or pork, or beef with your cooled onions, a spoonful of tomato paste, a cup of salty cheese, a cup of breadcrumbs, a bit of milk, and an egg. If it feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs and/or cheese. If you have some parsley or oregano and people who don't balk at green in their meatballs, you may chop a bit up and add it.

3. Make balls in your hand about the size of two golf balls into one. Please keep them uniform so they cook evenly.

4. Refill your frying pan with a enough oil to cover the balls halfway. Get it going till shimmering. Put up some pasta water. Add the balls one at a time. Do not crowd them.

5. Nudge them around the pan with a spatula from time to time. The key here is to keep them from burning, but also to cook them all the way through. Pick a sentinel meatball to test for doneness.

Now cook some pasta, while you remove your balls to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve with pasta and red sauce or plain butter and cheese and black pepper.

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