Meatballs are the kind of thing you really don’t need a recipe to make. You do need:
1. Some meat. About a pound of it. (Higher fat is best, but if you’re using meat with a lower fat content — or not dark poultry meat — you’ll need to add a bit of extra seasoning.)
2. Something to bind the meat. (eggs, breadcrumbs, maybe tomato paste)
3. Seasoning (Start with onions and/or shallots, and build from there.)
3. 1. Cook a small onion or some shallots in oil.
Once they’ve softened, let them cool — they’ll be going in your meatballs.
So that’s meat, cooled onions, maybe a spoonful of tomato paste, a cup of any salty cheese like pecorino, a cup of breadcrumbs, a bit of milk, and an egg. If it feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs and/or cheese. If you have some parsley or oregano and people who don’t freak out about green stuff in their meatballs, chop some and add.
6. 3. Shape into balls.
Use your hands, really — it’ll be easier. Make them about the size of two golf balls into one, and keep them uniform so they cook evenly.
7. 4. Cook!
Refill your frying pan with a enough oil to cover the balls halfway. Heat the oil till it’s shimmering. Add the balls one at a time, making sure not to crowd them. (Alternately, you could simmer these in sauce.)
8. Nudge them around the pan with a spatula from time to time.
Mostly just to keep them from burning, but also to cook them all the way through. The outsides should look nicely browned — like this. Test doneness on a sentinel meatball after ten minutes. If it’s done, you’re done.
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