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Loading The Puglian Cookbook
  • Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Greens

    This Puglian version of the ubiquitous meatballs in tomato sauce is made interesting by the addition of dandelion greens. The greens add an element of texture and a slight bitterness, which counteracts the sweetness of the meatballs. Serve Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Greens (see photo on the next spread) with a medium-bodied red wine, such as Negroamaro or Nero di Troia.

    YIELD: 6 SERVINGS
    • ½ pound (277 g) ground beef
    • ½ pound (277 g) ground pork
    • 1 egg
    • 1 large slice country bread, soaked in milk, squeezed dry, and torn into pieces
    • ½ cup (118 mL) grated pecorino cheese
    • ½ cup (118 mL) finely chopped parsley
    • Salt, to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • ½ cup (118 mL) extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 recipe Basic Tomato Sauce (see recipe)
    • Pasta or fresh bread for serving

    1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, egg, bread pieces, pecorino cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix until just combined (do not overmix). Tear off golfball–sized pieces and shape them into meatballs.

    2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the meatballs to the pan and cook them until they are browned on all sides.* Remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel to drain.

    3. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add the dandelion greens and boil for 2 minutes, or until the greens start to wilt. Remove the stockpot from the heat and transfer the greens to a strainer. Discard the water.

    4. In the now-empty stockpot, combine the tomato sauce and the cooked greens and bring to a boil. Add the hot meatballs. Stir the mixture together and cook for 2 minutes. Serve hot, either over pasta or in the form of meatball sandwiches on fresh bread.

    * If you prefer, you can instead bake the meatballs in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on size), until they are brown on top.

Copyright © 2010 Viktorija Todorovska. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without express written permission from the publisher.

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