There are so many inappropriate jokes I want to make with this post... so many jokes involving 'meaty balls'... 'big balls'... 'big meaty balls'...you get it... but I feel that it would be in pour taste considering I am writing about a classic dish your Italian grandmother would make for Sunday supper. Then again, your Italian grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave for how unauthentic this dish truly is (first and foremost... it is gluten free... DUN DUN DUN!).
I don't know what inspired me to make meat balls. I haven't had a meat ball in a long time. Years have passed since I have tasted a rich, savory meat ball, slathered in marinara... my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Anyways. For some strange reason I was craving pasta with red sauce and meat balls... so what is a girl who is allergic to everything do? Gets creative that's what!
First (as a side note) let's talk pasta-
Trader Joes has a new brown rice/quinoa pasta that is to die for! The texture and flavor is perfect. If I could remember what real pasta tasted and felt like, I would venture to say this pasta is closer to being real pasta than Dolly Partons body has been since the 1980s. Seriously.
Tinkyada makes my second favorite gluten free pasta. The texture is perfect, and the flavor is fantastic. It holds up and doesn't get mushy (unless you way over cook it).
There are numerous other brands that are just fine and if you have a good recommendation do share... but truthfully, those two are amazing, so why complicate things when we have meat balls to talk about.
-JUMBO MEAT BALLS-
What you will need for 7 large meat balls-
1/2 pound high quality organic ground pork
1/2 pound high quality organic ground beef (I used an 85/15 blend)
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1.5 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp onion powder
1 egg white ( you can use the whole egg if you like... I am allergic to the yolks so I omit them)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
3 tsp olive oil
What you will need for the sauce-
1 can organic tomato sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
2-3 large fresh basil leaves, finely shopped
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium sized bowl combine the pork, beef, seasonings, egg, and flour. Mix (with your hands... gross I know, but get over it, it is part of the experience and makes the balls better) until all ingredients are combined evenly. Pour 3 tsp olive oil into a cast iron skillet (or skillet of your choosing), place the meat balls into the oil, rotating on each side until golden brown. Drain any excess oil from the pan, turn off the heat and allow the balls to rest.
While the meat balls are browning-
Combine the tomato sauce, minced garlic, basil, and seasonings in a small bowl.
Once the balls are golden, pour the sauce over the top (once the pan isn't super hot... otherwise you will have tomato splattered everywhere... I, of course, would never let this happen...) Place the cast iron into the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
While the balls are in the oven, make your side dishes, cook your pasta, and drink a glass of wine.
I kid you not, we have had pasta with meat balls twice in the last week... that is how addicted I am. I had forgotten how good a well done meat ball could be!
What about you? What food are you currently craving? If you have allergies and feel like you are missing out on something magical, let me know and I will see what I can do to solve your mouth watering mysteries.