From the Kitchen of "Chef" Norm


Source (if known): Cooking Life Magazine Oct. 2010
Article: In Search of the Perfect Meatball
My notes: Something different I made January 2011 (see notes below)
I know this is NOT how meatballs are normally done in Italy so this is an American dish.

This is a long page but I made it that way because when I print the recipe to use, I can cross off things I have done. Comes with getting old!

2 - 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, tomatoes finely chopped (I used fresh tomatoes from Mary Anns garden, after chopping to equal about what was in the cans)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, peeled, halved through root end (see picture below of them in the pot)
1/2 teaspoon (or more) salt

Combine tomatoes with juice, butter, onions, and salt in large wide pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat

Reduce heat, simmer uncovered 45 minutes, stirring occasionally

Discard onions (you are done with them - this was something different I have never done). If desired, use a immersion blender to process sauce briefly to break up any large pieces of tomato. I didn't do this because my pieces were chopped small enough.

Season sauce with more salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat


1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French or country style bread (I used canned breadcrumbs, plain)

1/3 cup whole milk (I substituted 1% milk)

8 ounces of ground beef (15% fat)
8 ounces of ground pork (I substituted 1 pound of ground turkey and no beef or pork)

1 cup finely ground (not grated) Parmesean cheese

1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 large eggs

2 large garlic cloves, pressed

1 pound spaghetti

Fresh grated Parmesean chees (for serving) I subsubstituted Parmigiano Regiano

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; stir until breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand 10 minutes

Place beef and pork (I used ground turkey) in a large bowl and break up into small chunks. Add 1 cup ground Parmesean, parsley, salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs to blend in small bowl; whisk in garlic. Add to meat mixture.

Using hands (put some gloves on if you want) squeeze milk from breadcrumbs (I couldn't get any out when I squeezed), and reserve milk if you get any. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture. Using hands, quickly and gently mix meat mixture just until all ingredients are evenly combined (do not overmix). Chill mix at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour (I did the 1 hour)

Moisten your hands with some of reserved milk from breadcrumbs (you don't really need to) then roll meat mixture between palms into golf ball size balls, occasionally moistening hand with milk and arrange meatballs in a single layer in the sauce in the pot.

Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through. (this is where I found the tomato sauce flavor gets into the meatballs). About 15 to 20 minutes, or a little longer, just watch your temperature.

DO AHEAD: This can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly, chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep in refrigerator. Rewarm before cooking.

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, then drain.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to platter. Add pasta sauce to sauce in pot and toss to coat. Divide pasta among 6 plates. Top each serving with meatballs. Sprinkle meatballs with freshly grated Parmesean cheese (I used Parmigiano Regiano) and serve.

Bon Appetite (picture below of sauce cooking with onion)