Decisions, decisions. I know that we all make decisions From the time we wake up in the morning, until the time we rest our head on our pillow at night. Life is all about decisions, some of them extremely life effecting decisions, others, well…not so much. Right now I am being faced with a lot of life-altering decisions that I will discuss when the time is right. I have never been known as a person who can make a decision to save her life. Seriously, I have a hard time shopping for shoes at the mall because I can’t decide whether or not I was a pair of high-heels or converse and…why can’t I have both? Anyway, you get it. I hate making decisions, but right now, I have to put my game face on and make a decision that is going to effect the rest of my life…career-wise. That’s where meatballs and pasta sauce come into play.
 There are no decisions with a one-pot tomato sauce.
It’s real simple…tomato, herbs, garlic, simmer…
 Rolling meatballs is therapeutic…now I know why Italians are so easy-going…most of them with low blood pressure. No decisions. The only decision they have to make is the choice between a bowl of angel hair, or a hearty piece of lasagna. That’s after they take their mid-afternoon siesta.
What a life.
Simplicity at it’s best.
So, make one decision today…to have meatballs and pasta sauce for dinner.
It will change your life. No questions asked.
Garlic-Herb Tomato Sauce with Italian Meatballs:
For the sauce:
3 8 oz. cans unsalted tomato sauce
2 14.5 oz. cans unsalted, whole, peeled tomatoes, with their juices
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 c. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the meatballs:
2 lbs. ground top sirloin
1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 red onion, finely diced
3 ribs of celery, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 c. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 eggs
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
extra-virgin olive oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. For the sauce, place all ingredients (except salt and pepper) in a medium heavy-bottom pot. Mix all of the the ingredients together.
3. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat, stir occasionally until it begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for three hours, checking the sauce occasionally and stirring as needed. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. For the meatballs, place all of the ingredients (except the evoo) in a large mixing bowl and using your hands, mix everything until evenly distributed. 
5. Roll the meatballs into golf-ball sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Drizzle each with a bit of evoo. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. (Times will vary with ovens so check on them occasionally).
Note: Serve meatballs with sauce and top liberally with freshly grated Parmesan cheese!
Makes 22 meatballs and about 4 cups of sauce.

Project Chicken Meatball

Happy Tuesday all!

In yesterday’s post, you may have noticed that I mentioned something about Project Chicken Meatball happening this week. Well, it happened. It happened yesterday, to be exact. 
You all know how I love me some meatballs. I’m Italian, it’s only natural. Now, I have had meatballs made with every kind of meat under the sun, turkey, beef, lamb, and even pork. Surprisingly enough, I had not yet experimented using chicken in a meatball. This is shocking, seeing as I love me some poultry. My first time trying a chicken meatball on Saturday night changed everything. Not only did I try it at the best restaurant that I could have possibly tried it at, but it was sooooo great, that it inspired me to get in the kitchen immediately and experiment. So, like I said…things went down yesterday. 
This isn’t your average meatball. It’s all poultry. And that’s fine by me. 
I wanted to create a savory and sweet combo with the meatball, something totally out of my comfort zone with meatballs. I am pretty biased to a savory meatball. Again, revert back to Saturday night. Life Changing! Anyway, I added some chopped spicy jalapeno for a kick of heat, honey crisp apple for sweetness, garlic (because what is a meatball without garlic?), fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (because I needed something green), a dash of salt and pepper, and BAM! Project Chicken Meatball COMPLETE! 
And pretty darn tasty if I may say so myself.

Jalapeno Apple Chicken Meatballs:

1 1b. ground chicken
2 jalapenos, split in half, seeds discarded, and roughly chopped
1 small Honey Crisp Apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped 
1/2 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil.
2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with hands until distributed evenly. 
3. Roll into tablespoon size balls.
4. Place meatballs in baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Serve.

Makes 22 small meatballs.

Note: I would suggest sprinkling these babies with a bit of freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. My fave.