Daily Archives: June 1, 2013

Gluten Free Meatballs with Rustic Marinara

Meatballs and Marinara

Meatballs and Marinara

SIMPLE MARINARA

  • ¼ CUP EVOO
  • 15 CLOVES OF GARLIC PEELED AND SPLIT LENGTHWISE
  • 5 LBS OF FRESH OR CANNED CRUSHED ROMA TOMATOES
  • 1 TABLSESPOON OF DRIED OREGANO
  • 10 LARGE FRESH BASIL LEAVES SLICED INTO THIN RIBBONS
  • SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE

Heat a heavy saucepan on low and add the EVOO and split garlic cloves.  Slowly brown the garlic being careful not to burn.  When the garlic is softened add the crushed tomatoes.  Simmer for approximately 30 minutes and then add the oregano.  Simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour until the sauce has reduced by ¼.  If you like a rustic sauce (with tomato chunks and garlic pieces), whisk by hand until the tomato pieces and garlic start to break apart.  If you like a smoother sauce, run the sauce through a food mill.  This will strain out any seeds and fibrous material you may want out of the sauce.  If you want to leave everything in the sauce, put the sauce in a blender or a food processor.  Return to the heavy pan and add the basil just before serving.  If you’re having meatballs, I like to put them in the marinara about 30 minutes before serving to “marry” the flavors.  Fresh tomatoes are best but good quality processed tomatoes give you the chance to make this sauce year round.  This sauce freezes well so make a lot.  If the sauce is too “acidic”, add a pinch of sugar.  Add some freshly grated parmesan and serve over pasta.   

Tips: Try a few pinches of lemon zest to brighten the tomato flavor. If you’re using canned or processed tomatoes use a quality brand like “Pomi” that come in a box or a jar.  Good processed tomatoes cost more but the better the tomato product the better the sauce.  Keep it gluten free and try brown rice pasta.

Gluten Free Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef 80-85% lean to fat ratio
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1 medium onion fine dice
  • ½ bunch of fresh finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of grated Grand Padano or Reggiano Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  •  2 teaspoons of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a 12” X 18” sheet pan with foil and add a flat pan rack and spray or wipe with olive oil. In a large mixing bowl add the meat, eggs, onion, parsley, garlic and crushed tomato.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl combine the cheese and spices.  Slowly add the cheese mixture to the meat mixture combining the two until well blended.  Shape into large meat balls about 4 or 5 to the pound ending up with about 20 meatballs.  Place evenly on the pan rack.  Bake the meatballs for 50 minutes to an hour depending on size.  Place gently in the marinara.  Serve with fresh grated cheese over pasta. 

Tips:  If the meat is too lean the meatballs will be dry.  Be sure to leave some fat in the ground meat.  If you like spicy meatballs, kick up the pepper flakes and cayenne.  Try spraying some olive oil on the outside of the meatballs for a little extra crust.