Morello's Meatballs

Morello's Meatballs

Delicatessan

The secret to chef Kevin Garcia’s meatballs at his restaurant Morello is thick, decadent brioche bread used as breadcrumbs. Garcia believes in an 80/20 ratio of meat to fat, and warns not to overwork your meat mixture. By overworking it, you force out the air and create a dense meatball. He also likes to make his a day advance and let them sit in the sauce before he serves them.

"Although not scientifically proven, meatballs usually taste better the next day, [because] they have time to absorb the flavor of the tomato braise," he tells us.

Click here to see How to Make a Better Meatball.

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 1/2  Pound  ground beef
  • 1/2  Pound  ground veal
  • 1/2  Pound  ground pork
  • 1/2  Cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • Brioche rolls, torn up and soaked in milk
  • leaves fresh sage, chopped
  • shallots, minced
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

For the sauce

  • 12  Cups  tomato purée
  • cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1  Cup  fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4  Cup  chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes
  • small red onion, julienned

For serving

  • 4  Tablespoons  grated Fontina cheese
  • slices Tuscan bread
  • clove garlic
  • 4  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

For the meatballs

Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix with your hands. It’s imperative that the ingredients are mixed well but not overmixed. Use olive oil to coat your hands or use rubber gloves to form meatballs. The size of your meatballs is based on personal preference. Brown the meatballs in a frying pan in ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Once they are brown on all sides, take them out and set aside. 

 

For the sauce

In the same frying pan, add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato purée, parsley, basil, and red pepper flakes. Add the meatballs and simmer for 2 hours with or without a lid on very low heat, stirring occasionally.

For serving

Place 6 meatballs in a single serving, oven-proof dish with some sauce. Lightly sprinkle with grated Fontina cheese. Place in the broiler until the cheese is golden brown and melted. Serve with a piece of Fettunta – which is Tuscan bread rubbed with garlic and brushed with extra-virgin olive oil, then grilled. 

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
60g
86%
Sugar
2g
2%
Saturated Fat
19g
79%
Cholesterol
169mg
56%
Carbohydrate, by difference
50g
38%
Protein
54g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
419µg
60%
Vitamin B-12
4µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
2mg
100%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
140mg
100%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
219µg
100%
Calcium, Ca
482mg
48%
Choline, total
54mg
13%
Fiber, total dietary
10g
40%
Folate, total
103µg
26%
Iron, Fe
10mg
56%
Magnesium, Mg
202mg
63%
Manganese, Mn
2mg
100%
Niacin
16mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
3mg
60%
Phosphorus, P
807mg
100%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
45µg
82%
Sodium, Na
692mg
46%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
695g
26%
Zinc, Zn
10mg
100%

Morel Shopping Tip

Buy mushrooms that are intact, firm, and fleshy. Avoid mushrooms that are slimy or have split caps.

Morel Cooking Tip

To clean mushrooms, briefly run cold water over them or gently wipe with a damp towel.