Friday, October 22, 2010

Meatballs with Fresh Fennel and Orange

The following recipe is adapted from Lidia’s Family Table, by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, published in 2004.

Meatballs with Fresh Fennel and Orange
About 3 Dozen 2-Inch Meatballs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 bulb fennel, minced
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
1 package ground beef, ground turkey, or pork sausage
3 eggs, well beaten with a pinch of salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 heaping cup dry breadcrumbs
vegetable oil
tomato-based pasta sauce

Heat olive oil, onion, and fennel in a pan over medium heat. Once they begin to sizzle, add garlic and half of the salt and cook until the vegetables are slightly wilted. Once cool, mix together vegetables, meat, eggs, parsley, remaining salt, pepper, orange zest, thyme leaves, and bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into 2-inch balls, and roll in flour until coated. Set a skillet on high heat and add vegetable oil to a depth of at least ⅓ inch. Cook meatballs (turning continuously) until golden-crusted on all sides. In the meantime, begin to heat pasta sauce. Meatballs will finish cooking in the sauce.

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