(Pork Meatballs from the Emilia-Romagna Area … the heartland of Central Italy)
The Emilia-Romagna area is in the central region of Italy and is very popular with travelers because of the vast and impressive things to see. In this region you have the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Duomo in Florence, as well as the Uffizi, The Pitti Palazzo to name just a few because the list is endless. Not to be overlooked are the delicious foods and regional wines and specials. End a day of sightseeing with a glass or maybe a bottle of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or Brunello di Montalcino or Sassicia or Orvieto Classico or Verdiccio. All a perfect way to end a long day with dinner or sitting on a patio enjoying an Italian evening.
- 4 slices white bread – crusts removed
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 6 oz mortadella – roughly chopped
- 1 cup romano or parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg – or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil – for frying
- Extra grated cheese – for topping
- 6 – 8 cups tomato sauce – your favorite
- 2 large eggs – lightly beaten
- In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk.
- In larger bowl, add the ground pork and the chopped mortadella. Mix to combine.
- Remove the bread from the milk and discard any milk left in the bowl.
- Add the bread to the meat along with the beaten eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Mix well until all incorporated but try not to mash.
- Cover and chill for an hour or two. when ready to cook, form the meat into small balls. You should yield 12 – 14.
- Heat a large sauté pan with the oil and when hot enough, add the meatballs. Give them enough room as they do swell up a little.
- Turn the meatballs as they are cooking so that they brown on all sides.
- When all are cooked, pour your tomato sauce over all and continue cooking on medium-low heat for an additional 30 minutes.
- Top with grated cheese and serve.
A simple salad, some crusty Italian bread and you have an easy but delicious dinner to serve on a busy day. Or for a heartier meal, add a side of orzo or rice and top with sauce.