Italian-Style Mini Meatballs
For small mouths or a tiny appetite, these mini meatballs are a perfect fit.
-Recipe Courtesy of Top 100 Finger Foods by Annabel Karmel, amazon.com
These can be served as a fun and new appetizer, or can be added to a pasta dish for your kids. You can substitute ground chicken for either the veal or pork, or use just one type of ground meat.
Makes About 30 Meatballs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 can diced tomatoes, 14-ounces
4 1/2 teaspoonse tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ground pork
1/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
3 tablespoons milk
a small handful of parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper to season
2 or 3 tablespoons canola oil, for frying
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and saute the onion for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute, then transfer half to a food processor.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, sugar, oregano, and vegetable broth to the onions left in the pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, add the ground beef, veal, and pork to the onion in the food processor. Whiz for a minute to chop everything, then add the bread crumbs, milk, parsley, and Parmesan, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until well combined. Form rounded teaspoonfuls of the meatball mixture into about 30 small balls. Now, either fry the meatballs or bake them in the oven.
4. For frying: heat the canola oil in a large nonstick frying pan and fry in batches of 8-10 meatballs for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden. Drain on paper towels.
5. For oven browning: preheat the oven to 400 F. Put a baking sheet in the oven when you turn it on and allow it to heat up. Put 2 tablespoons of canola oil on the hot baking sheet and add the meatballs. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
6. Puree the sauce until smotth, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to the saucepan and add the cooked meatballs, using a slotted spoon. Simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Serve with spaghetti or in a hollowed-out french bread.