When I was living at with my parents (a mere 4 or so years ago), my 'speciality' was meat balls. I'm not sure if it's because mine were particularly good but perhaps rather that I could be bothered to stand there and roll them to feed 4 people.
Ever since I first made them, I've always tried to alter the recipe somehow to get the ultimate meat ball. Some say simple is best and prefer just salt and pepper, but I like some extra flavourings.
Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce
For one hungry person
For the balls:
2 anchovies in oil, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Half a shallot, finely diced
1 tbsp capers, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
I don't really think egg or breadcrumbs are necessary in meatballs. If you work the flavourings into the meat enough without working it too much into a paste, then it'll hold together fine. Fry the meat balls in a pan with some oil until browned on all sides.
Then add 1/2 diced small onion, 1 fat clove garlic, minced, 1/2 yellow pepper, diced and a large pinch of chilli flakes and fry until the onion is translucent. Add 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1/2 can chopped tomatoes and 1 tsp sugar. Simmer until thickened, serve with a pasta of your choice and a grating of Parmesan.
I had mine with tagliatelle. I had a bag of spinach in the fridge that was starting to look like it was going to get up and walk away, so I added a few washed handfuls to the pot of pasta after I'd turned off the heat, but before I'd drained it. I don't much like pasta to be drowning in sauce, more like a dressing, so add more tomato to taste if you like.
These were very good. The anchovy melts into the meat so it's not fishy, but provided a good savoury depth.
Nevertheless, the quest for the perfect meatball shall go on. What's your best meat ball?