Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spaghetti Westerns with Stuffed Meatballs

Home alone for a day this weekend so I am going to take the opportunity to cook and watch movies that I can enjoy without having to consider the preferences of others.Mmmm, cheese filled.

The plan is to develop a new recipe (stuffed meatballs), watch some fun foreign films while Sharon is away. I other words, be a single guy.

The meatball recipe is from Jackie and John off the Williams-Sonoma website. The tomato sauce is the one I love from ATK. The films are from Italy.

For the meatballs I'll use my tomato sauce recipe and maybe even make some garlic bread.

The process began on Tuesday when I selected the theme for my lonely weekend, Spaghetti Westerns. I planed the menu at work and started real preparation Tuesday night by watching the first side (laser disk) of Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West (1968).Enlarge poster Henry Fonda plays the villain against Charles Bronson's harmonica playing "man with no name".

Friday after shopping and work we'll start off with a great salad and They Call Me Trinity. On a good day this film is humorous on a bad day silly if not stupid. I like to think of this kind of low budget quick production as a "bargain matinee" and just enjoy it for what it is without being critical. It's a film I would recommend to someone who has already seen the Sergio Leone westerns and doesn't mind wasting an afternoon on a marginally entertaining/juvenile matinee.

Saturday I'll continue with another Trinity film, My Name Is Nobody (1974), also staring Henry Fonda (his last western).Enlarge poster MNIN is a continuation of the Trinity character played by the same actor, Terrance Hill. (The writeups I read about the Trinity films refer to Terence Hill as though he is well known but I don't know anything about him; is he Italian, has he done anything else, was there celluloid after Trinity?)

Stuffed Meatballs


1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground veal
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 lb. mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil for frying
About 6 cups tomato sauce
2 lb. spaghetti, cooked and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread crumbs. Add the ground pork, veal, beef, the 1/3 cup parsley, the eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix briefly with your hands. Form the mixture into 2-inch balls. Press a mozzarella cheese cube into the center of each ball, sealing it inside.
  2. In a large electric skillet set on medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch of oil until almost smoking. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray. Browned but raw inside.
  3. Discard the oil in the pan. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.
  4. Put the pasta in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Top with the sauce and meatballs and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and pass the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table. Serves 10 to 12.
February 25, 2007, breakfast

The finished product. Serve with some garlic bread to sop up the wonderful sauce.

Post Script

Recipes are often used a guides as opposed to formula and today I had to make some modifications to what is suggested above.
  1. Instead of 14 oz cans of tomatoes I used 28 oz cans
  2. 9 gloves of garlic in the sauce
  3. 3/4 teaspoon of red peppers in the sauce
  4. only 1 bunch of basil, should of had 2 for this much
  5. didn't have fresh parsley on my shopping list so couldn't use it
  6. 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, this may have been a pinch to much
  7. 4 eggs
  8. unable to get veal so the meat was 2.64 lbs beef/pork 2:1 with 1 lb lamb
  9. meatballs had 4 gloves of garlic
This made 22 meatballs with plenty of sauce. John and Jackie will receiver a 4 meatball takeaway on Monday because they gave me the recipe. Mahalo John.

No comments: