25 February 2013

Tender Meatballs with Olive Oil Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

Tender Meatballs with Olive Oil Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

You can always tell the season by the recipes you will find here on these pages. I am waiting with baited breath for warm Spring weather and the privilege of plucking fresh garden greens. In the meantime familiar comfort foods still reign supreme here at More Than Burnt Toast as a last nod to winter. Handed down from generation to generation on stained recipe cards and in tattered notebooks, comfort foods are staples for anyone wanting a hearty meal and a little taste of home. 


Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare 

"Eat to live and not live to eat"

It is not uncommon this time of year for my home to be filled with warm, fragrant and earthy aromas of a slow cooked roast or bubbling crock pot. We've had soups, macaroni and cheese, and plenty of pasta to still my beating heart during this in-between season. Today tasty, tender meatballs on a bed of garlicky, cheesy mashed potatoes soothed my soul. There's something very satisfying about making a pot of homemade sauce, or as the Italians call it "gravy" or "ragu" from scratch in your own kitchen from start to finish. These meatballs are based on a recipe from Lou Di Palo's grandmother that he sells at his family's store, Di Palo's Fine Foods, in New York City. Of course they would be equally delicious served in the North American-Italian style with spaghetti, but, in Italy meatballs would be served alone as a main course. They are familiar, tasty, and comforting. They are made extra tender by adding ricotta cheese and extra delicious made for those we love.

** Tender Meatballs with Olive Oil, Garlic Parmesan Potatoes**

¼ cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
2 28-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 oz. (1/4 lb) ground pork
10 oz. (3/4 lbs) ground beef
⅓ cup shredded provolone
⅓ cup whole-milk ricotta
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
¼ cup finely grated pecorino, plus more for serving
¾ cup breadcrumbs
3 eggs. lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 3 cloves garlic in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add dried parsley, basil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper; cook for 60 minutes. Cook until reduced and thick, about 20 minutes. 

Mix remaining garlic, pork, ground beef, provolone, ricotta, parmesan, pecorino, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, and ground pepper in a bowl; form into eight 2 ½″ meatballs, about 6 oz. each. Heat remaining oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add meatballs; cook, turning, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to sauce; cook until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve meatballs and sauce sprinkled with parsley.

**Olive Oil, Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes**

2 lbs or 3 large potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced large
4 cloves garlic, ends snipped and peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup half and half cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
salt (optional and according to taste)

In a medium size saucepan, put diced potatoes, peeled garlic cloves in water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, season with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook potatoes until tender.

Drain the water from the saucepan of cooked potatoes and garlic. While still piping hot, mash the potatoes and garlic, either leave some bits unmashed (for texture) or mash until smooth. I prefer to whip mine with a hand mixer.

Add the extra virgin olive oil and "half and half" milk and continue to mash/mix.

Mix in the grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and season with pepper and salt (optional and according to taste).

Fold-in the chopped chives and serve.

Serves 3-4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Oh yes Val! This is my kind of comfort food! I love it! Looking forward to the seasons changing soon.

  2. Divine! The kind of dish I could eat on a weekly basis.



  3. Those potatoes alone would make my heart happy, but with that gorgeous sauce and those meatballs, sigh, I'd be in heaven. :-)

  4. oh my gawd these are perfection... I love how soft they look and that mash is heavenly. I have definite food envy!

  5. I can't wait for winter to be over either. Winter in NY tends to extend into weeks and weeks of cold and rain, while we wish for something resembling a real spring.

    I love meatballs and your talk of meatballs and warmer weather leads me to the perfect summer association:

    Meatball the movie! "Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for the good times?"

  6. What a delicious pairing! I love meatballs and potatoes so this meal would make me happy!

  7. I love how you've Italian-ified these potatoes. Total comfort food!

  8. I like the 4 cheeses and two meats in there, Val. Gosh, that looks delicious!

  9. My kind of food Val. Love this combination. Spring is coming, but comfort food helps get us through.

  10. What a nice plate, I would enjoy this a lot. Thanks for sharing with us.

  11. I had just heard on the radio that the Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest and safest diets or should I say "ways of life eating" ever.
    And having had the urge now to buy the book, since I love all things olive oil, garlic, fish, greens, and now potatoes. LOL

    1. When in Southern Italy I saw no one that was overweight so I can believe it.

  12. Oh wow, you've hit a weak spot here with these luscious meatballs.

  13. I am all about comfort food lately!

  14. What a lovely homely treat, Val. These sound delicious and they have great eye appeal. My family would adore this. I hope your week is off to a good start. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  15. Thanks to this great concoction. I simply got there that's why sampled terrific: -) Excellent web page by means of torte directions other people when you're planning to pursue. I have a blog with cake recipes myself if you are interested. You can find it at http://recipes-for-food.com/

  16. Meatballs are so good. They're fun to make. Everyone loves them. Add potatoes to the plate and well, pull out a chair 'cuz I'll be sitting down at your table. GREG

  17. i've ONLY ever used butter in my mashed potatoes, but by golly, those look enticing!

  18. Wow - that is a beautiful looking plate of comfort if I have ever seen one.I haven't made meatballs in ages ...I think it is time to get at it again.


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