I’ve made many different meatball recipes, and this is by far my favorite. I really enjoy the combination of ground chuck and ground sausage. There are a lot of eggs in this recipe, which helps to make these meatballs very moist. I hope this becomes one of your favorite recipes too!
2 lbs. Ground Chuck (85% Lean)
1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, casing removed
1 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Grated
2 ½ Cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/3 Cup Garlic, Minced
¾ Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using an ice cream scoop, measure out the meatballs, and hand roll each ball into a round shape. Place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are firm. The meatballs can be added to your favorite tomato sauce, Sunday meat sauce (see recipe), or they can be cooled and frozen at this point.
BEEF BRACIOLE (see Blog for detailed instructions)
I often incorporate either beef braciole or pork braciole into my Sunday meat sauce. The filling ingredients can be modified to incorporate any flavors that you prefer. Make sure you allow enough cooking time for the meat to become tender (generally 2-3 hours, simmered in the sauce). The sauce that remains is deep and flavorful, and pairs beautifully with a penne pasta.
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 oz. Pancetta, diced
2 Cups of Onions, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs & 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Minced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil, Minced
1 Tsp. Salt & 1 Tsp. Black Pepper
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 Beef Round Sandwich Steaks (Pounded Thin)
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
3 Cups Marinara Sauce (see recipe)
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, Shredded (Garnish)
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add the diced pancetta. Saute for approx. 2 minutes, until pancetta becomes golden brown. Add the chopped onion and sauté for approx. 4-5 minutes, until onions become tender. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Stir and remove from heat. Let filling cool. Meanwhile, pound each round steak until thin and tenderized. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the steak. Layer the cooled filling on each piece of steak and roll up, jelly-roll style. Tie with butcher twine to secure each braciole. Heat the remaining 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all side, approx. 5 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for approx. 2 – 2 ½ hours, until the braciole is tender. Be sure to stir during the cooking time, basting the braciole with the marinara sauce while cooking. The braciole will be done when the meat is tender. Remove the braciole from the sauce. Let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing (use a serrated knife). Spoon sauce over sliced braciole and serve with shredded parmesan cheese.
Chicken (or Veal) Cutlets are easy to make and absolutely delicious. The cutlets are also the basis for other dishes, such as chicken parmesan. The cutlets can be made ahead of time and frozen. I have many fond memories of entering Grandma Colombo’s house and enjoying the fabulous smell of veal cutlets that were being cooked in her kitchen.
1 lb. Chicken Breasts, boneless & skinless, sliced and pounded thin
1 Cup Seasoned Italian Breadcrumbs
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper
1 Cup Olive Oil
4 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Optional)
On a cutting board, slice each chicken breast into thin layers and pound out on the cutting board. (I cover with plastic wrap to avoid splattering of the chicken). Separately, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts in the breadcrumb mixture. In a sauté pan, combine the olive oil and butter and bring to a medium heat. Test the oil to make sure it is ready for frying (sprinkle some of the breadcrumbs on the oil and make sure the oil sizzles). When ready, place the breaded chicken cutlets in the oil in batches, turning over when lightly browned (approx. 2 minutes per side). Remove the chicken from the sauté pan and place the cutlets on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle each warm chicken cutlet lightly with salt. Top with chopped parsley if desired.
Chicken parmesan is a dish I prepare often. Pair with any type of pasta for a fantastic meal. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Chicken Cutlets (see chicken cutlet recipe)
Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place prepared chicken cutlets on a baking sheet, top with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and cutlets are warmed through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.
CHICKEN CUTLETS WITH PESTO & PROVOLONE
This chicken cutlet dish is really delicious. The warm cutlet, paired with the deep flavors of the pesto and the smooth provolone makes a wonderful meal. Feel free to substitute any cheese you prefer.
Chicken Cutlets (see recipe)
Marinara Sauce (see recipe)
Pesto Sauce (see recipe – or purchase prepared sauce)
Sliced Provolone Cheese
Fresh Basil (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the prepared chicken cutlets. Spread pesto sauce over the cutlets, then top with sliced provolone cheese. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the ingredients have all warmed through. Serve with a dollop of additional pesto sauce and fresh basil, if desired.
SAUSAGE GIAMBOTTA (SAUSAGE WITH VEGETABLES)
Sausage dishes are my Dad’s favorites, so I always prepare a variation when he visits. This dish is delicious with the addition of roasted potatoes, sweet bell peppers and spicy long-hot peppers. The sweet and spicy peppers pair nicely with the sweet and hot sausage in this recipe. The dish is deglazed with white wine and perfect for a weeknight meal. Marinara sauce can be added if desired.
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
4 Yukon Potatoes, Peeled & Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
1 Large Red or Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 Large Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
3 Long-Hot Peppers, Sliced
½ Cup Dry White Wine (like Chardonnay)
Salt, Pepper & Dried Oregano to taste
1 lb. Italian Sausage (Mixed Sweet and Hot) & 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Rolls and Marinara Sauce (Optional)
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over low heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for approx. 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the chopped potatoes and sauté in the pan for approx. 10 minutes, until potatoes are golden and cooked through. Remove the potatoes and onions from the sauté pan and set aside. To the same sauté pan, add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, along with the chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sliced bell peppers and long-hot peppers. Saute for approx. 6 minutes, until the peppers become tender. Add the white wine, stir well, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Return the potatoes and onions to the skillet and mix well with the pepper mixture. Cover and keep warm. Separately, place the Italian sausage on a baking pan and cover with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Prick each sausage with a knife several times each, and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Add the sausage to the pepper, onion and potato mixture and warm through to combine flavors. Serve on a platter or with soft Italian rolls. Top with marinara sauce if desired.
BACON WRAPPED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH SPINACH STUFFING (see Blog for detailed instructions)
This is a delicious pork tenderloin recipe, combining the savory flavors of bacon, spinach and onions. This is a perfect dish for a holiday buffet because the sliced tenderloin looks great on a decorative platter. The sliced tenderloin also pairs beautifully with pasta or risotto for a great weeknight dinner.
2 lb. Boneless Pork Loin
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Thick Cut Bacon to Wrap Pork Tenderloin
6 Slices of Bacon, Chopped
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Boxes of Creamed Spinach, Defrosted (Birds Eye Brand)
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Prepare the pork tenderloin “butterfly” style, which means cutting the loin so that it lays flat in a rectangle. Flatten and tenderize the loin with a meat mallet. Meanwhile, prepare the spinach stuffing. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until browned. Remove the bacon from the skillet and discard the bacon fat (leaving 2 Tbsp. in the skillet). Saute the chopped onions in the bacon fat until light brown. Add the defrosted creamed spinach to the onion mixture, stir to combine over low heat. Return the cooked bacon to the spinach mixture along with the parmesan cheese. Cool the stuffing. Spread the spinach stuffing all over the inside of the pork tenderloin. Roll the pork tenderloin up, jelly-roll style, and wrap the tenderloin with thick cut bacon. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper. Place the tenderloin on a baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil and greased. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake the pork tenderloin for approx. 1 – 1 ½ hours (until the internal temperature reached 150 degrees F. When ready, remove the stuffed tenderloin from the oven, and let rest for approx. 10 minutes before slicing into 1” thick pieces.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
This is a moist, delicious roast. I like to serve the pork tenderloin sliced thin, served with mashed potatoes and a sliced mushroom gravy.
1 3-lb. Boneless Pork Tenderloin Roast, Room Temperature
1 Stalk of Celery, Diced, 2 Medium Carrots, Diced, 1 Large Onion, Diced
2 Tbsp. Butter
½ Tsp. Black Pepper & ½ Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Dried Oregano
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
Gravy: Pan Drippings, 3 Tbsp. Flour, ½ Cup Pork Broth (or use Chicken Broth),
Salt, Pepper to Taste, 2 Tbsp. Butter & 8 oz. Mushrooms, Sliced
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, and stir in the black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic. Saute for approx. 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Cover with the warm spice mixture, and place the pork tenderloin in a roasting pan. Surround the roast with the celery, carrots and onion, and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 300 degree oven for approx. 1 ½-2 hours, until the internal temperature registers at least 150 degrees F. When ready, remove pork roast from the oven, place on a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let stand for approx. 15 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, prepare the gravy. Place the roasting pan with the pan drippings and vegetables over 2 burners on the stovetop. Whisk in the flour and simmer for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the pork broth until the gravy has thickened. Strain the gravy, removing all solids and set aside. Separately, in a small sauté pan, melt the butter and add the mushrooms. Saute for approx. 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Add the mushrooms to the strained gravy and serve with the roast.