Growing up my dad had two specialties: spaghetti and omelets. His spaghetti was canned tomato sauce and pasta from a box, but he was the one that would "make" it. It was his thing. Every once in a (rare and long) while, there were those very, very special occasions, he would make meatballs. Meatballs which he would use ground beef that he rolled into a ball and cooked with a heavy dose of olive oil. It was special when he made meatballs.
Now, all these years later, I still think of him every time I "make" spaghetti, most especially if there are meatballs involved. (Note: I never make my own pasta. I have a couple of times over the years, but that is one of those things I just always buy from the store. Especially stores like Salumeria.) So, my go to meatballs, just as easy as dad's, but with a few additional ingredients.
- 1/2lb ground beef
- 1/2lb ground pork
- 2Tbs cooked quinoa
- 2Tbs shredded parmesan
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1Tbs fennel seed
- 1tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Don't overwork the meat. I used a cast iron skillet, but any pan will do. Place the pan or skillet on the burner at med/high heat to warm, adding olive oil if not using a cast iron skillet. Add the meatballs in batches, not to crowd the pan, and cook, turning every 2 minutes or so to gently sear all the sides roughly 8-10 minutes. Remove to baking sheet and finish cooking the remainder of the meatballs. Now, here is your choice, you can either finish them off in the oven on a baking sheet at 300 for 5 minutes or just make sure they are cooked through to your liking.
Enjoy over pasta (or quinoa or zucchini...) with sauce of choice and fresh parma!