There are endless variations on the classic meatball. Whether you’re a purist looking for a traditional Swedish meatball or an adventurer willing to sample seafood meatballs, the meatball offers something for everyone. In celebration of the launch of his book, The Meatball Shop Cookbook, and his upcoming ICE cooking class, Chef Daniel Holzman of the celebrated The Meatball Shop on the Lower East Side, shared this recipe with us to include in the Winter 2012 issue of The Main Course.
2 pounds 80% lean beef, ground
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon chile flake
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Makes 24 golf ball size meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Drizzle the olive oil into a large baking dish (9×13) making sure to evenly coat the entire surface (use your hand to help spread the oil).
Roll the meat mixture into round, golf ball sized meatballs making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls into the oiled baking dish such that all of the meatballs are lined up evenly in rows and are touching each of their four neighbors in a grid. Roast until firm and cooked through (about 20 minutes).
While the meatballs are roasting, heat 4 cups of tomato sauce in a small pot over a medium/high flame, stirring constantly.
When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked drain the excess grease from the pan, then pour the tomato sauce over them and continue roasting for another 14 minutes.