Nemo happened - is that what the storm was called? School was cancelled on the first day of the conference and it all went downhill from there. But luckily I was able to give my free ticket to another friend who did get to go, so at least someone was able to take advantage of my freebie.
But that's not why I'm writing - I came to post a link to a recipe which is the first of its kind in my house - a recipe that was eaten and enjoyed (ok, enjoyed is pushing it), a recipe that was consumed with little complaint by all five human members of my family. A gigantic feat.
Ricotta Meatballs, adapted from SheKnows.com
- 1 pound ground beef (use the best fatty stuff you can find - 85% is good) (you can also experiment with 1/2 beef, 1/2 turkey, pork or any combo of the three)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (whole milk or skim)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (we used 1/2 Parm, 1/2 Locatelli because that's what we had around)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flour (note: I JUST noticed that the original recipe called for this, I spaced on adding it when I made and they turned out just fine - add if you want/if you remember)
- Optional: 1 pinch of fennel seeds (rub together in your hands to break them up a bit before adding)
Mix together meat, egg, ricotta, Parmesan, one teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, fennel and flour (if using/if you remember) in a large bowl until well combined. I think this is where using your hands works best. Shape meat mixture into one-inch balls - I think this is easiest to do with a cookie or ice cream scoop - it's less messy and all the balls are the same size.
The original recipe then says to fry them in a pan with some oil until they're almost completely cooked through, then add some sauce (homemade or jarred - my favorite is Rao's, I stock up when it's on sale) and simmer until they're no longer pink in the middle, about another 30 minutes.
I decided to bake them on a cookie sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx 20-30 minutes, a la my friend Jenny. It gets a little messy so best to stick them on a piece of parchment or foil. Once they're done, you can serve them as is, stick them in a little simmering sauce or put in a plate/tray in a single layer and freeze. Once they're solid, take off the tray and put in a freezer bag for later. We never got to the freezing part - all 36+ meatballs were consumed over the next couple days.
This would be a perfect place for me to post some instagram photos of the whole family enjoying (consuming) the meatballs, but I was so stunned it was happening that I completely forgot to take any. Will be making again soon and will try to remember to take some photos. I promise.