The Ultimate Meatballs al Forno with Creamy Polenta

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 min
Prep: 40 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 50 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup ground pinenuts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms
  • 2 pints vine-ripened small tomatoes
  • 1 medium ball fresh mozzarella
  • Creamy Polenta, recipe follows
CREAMY POLENTA:
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons whole butter
  • Pinch sea salt
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Break the baguette in pieces and soak in a bowl with milk for 10 minutes until the bread is soft. In a second bowl mix the beef and pork together. Twist up half the parsley and the basil into a little pile, roughly chop it and add to the meat. Add garlic and mix thoroughly with your hands. Squeeze the milk out of the bread and add it in small pieces. Add eggs, Parmesan, ground pinenuts, salt, and pepper and mix everything together thoroughly. Shape the meatballs into large patties then roll them in the bread crumbs.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it begins to smoke slightly. Fry the meatballs to seal the crust, flip them over so both sides are done. Transfer to a large baking dish.

Add a splash of oil to pan and fry the mushrooms on a low heat until they start to caramelize. Cut the tomatoes in 1/2 and hand-crush them into a separate bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and a few cranks of fresh cracked pepper and mix. Add to the mushrooms. Let everything simmer together and reduce slightly for about 10 minutes. Pour the tomatoes and mushrooms over the meatballs. Shred the remaining basil and parsley and the mozzarella over it. Drizzle with olive oil and add a few cranks of pepper. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.

Serve with Creamy Polenta.

In a large saucepan bring the chicken stock to a slow simmer. Quickly whisk the cornmeal into the stock and lower the temperature to keep it from splattering. Stir in the cream, Parmesan, butter, and salt. Turn off the heat and keep in a warm place until the meatballs are ready.

Yield: 6 servings
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

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5

Newest Ratings and Reviews

Read all 4 reviews

  • on February 10, 2014

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    Delicious change from my regular meatballs, especially leaving out the onions, and so good with the polenta. I used canned Romas and would double the sauce next time. This would be a great make ahead for company. I recommend adding minced garlic and more fresh basil to the polenta to really put it over the top. Tyler's recipes never disappoint.

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  • on March 21, 2012

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    EXCELLENT - does make a lot; used whole milk instead of the heavy cream & less butter . Also this dish doesn't need the extra oil drizzled over top. Otherwise, delicious.

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  • on January 11, 2012

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    Great comfort food. Used ground turkey and it was fabulous. This recipe makes a lot of food, would half it next time or have more people for dinner.

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