How to Make the Perfect Meatball

August 14, 2014

Nothing beats a plate of spaghetti and meatballs just like Nonna used to make.  The perfectly texture meatball contrasted against the soft stands of spaghetti coated in tomato sauce is absolute heaven.  While her meatball recipe was a treasured family secret, i bet she put into practice a couple tricks that made her meatballs stand out among the rest.  The tips will ensure that you craft a meatball as perfect as Nonna's.

1. Season your meat. Even though ground beef, veal or pork has a strong flavor on its own, it still requires at least a sprinkling of salt.  As a rule of thumb, use one teaspoon of salt per pound of ground meat.  Other seasoning like fresh herbs, garlic, and freshly cracke pepper are also welcome.

2.  Eggs are for binding.  Adding an egg yolk does not add moisture to your meatballs.  Rather, it's to help all the ingredients come together including the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and meat.

3. Use your hands. Mix your meatballs by hand.  Overmixing creates tough and unsavory meatballs.  In other words, avoid the wooden spoon and mix the ingredients until the are just incorporated.

4. Uniformity.  There is no standard size when it comes to meatballs.  Depending on the dish, you'll want them to be either bigger or smaller.  Whatever size you decide, stick with it.

5. Sear. A nice brown crust on your meatball enhances their flavor.  Ideally, you want to sear the meatball first and then braise it in the sauce for another 15-20 minutes.


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