Italian Meatballs In the Style of the Puglia Region

Tomatoes ripen to sweet perfection in the hot sun of southern Italy. Sicily, Puglia and Calabria are southern Italian regions known for their recipes combining tomato and garlic. Serve this recipe with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Pair With: A powerful Italian red, like the 2006 Lagaria Syrah-Nero d'Avola Sicilia.

Source: Adapted from the Italian newspaper Corriere.


Ingredients For the Meatballs:

1 cup stale bread


1 egg

1 pound ground beef (or half ground lamb and half ground beef)

2 ounces grated Pecorino cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

olive oil for frying, about 1/4 cup

Ingredients For the Sauce:

1 onion, minced

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups tomato sauce

sprinkle oregano, dried or minced fresh


Directions For the Meatballs:

Crumble the bread into a small bowl and cover with milk. Set aside for ten minutes and let the bread soak up the milk. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, then add the ground beef, Pecorino, garlic, salt and pepper. Drain the excess milk from the bread and add the bread to the meat mixture, stirring well. Form into small meatballs about the size of a walnut. Fry the meatballs in olive oil, turning to cook on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Directions For the Sauce:

Add the onion to the oil you used for the meatballs and cook over low heat until the onion is translucent. Stir in the flour so it is hydrated with the oil, then add the tomato sauce and cook for ten minutes, stirring well. Add the meatballs and cook until heated through. Serve sprinkled with oregano.

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