I have been so hungry for Spaghetti and Meatballs lately. I wanted to make my own meatballs so I thought I would try using sausage rather than making the usual beef meatballs. These were really delicious. I am not fond of the taste of fennel so I left that out of my recipe.
1 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp water
12 ounces ground pork
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large egg yolks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground (use a spice grinder or crush using the bottom of a heavy skillet)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, and broken into 1 inch pieces
Adjust the oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Place wire rack in a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray wire rack with vegetable oil spray.
Dissolve salt, baking soda and water in a large bowl. Add ground pork and fold gently to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place the following ingredients in a food processor: bread, cream, Parmesan, egg yolks, garlic, ground fennel seeds, oregano, pepper and pepper flakes. Pulse until just combined, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add ground pork (do not wash out bowl) and pulse until mixture is well combined, about 5 pulses.
Transfer half of the pork mixture in the food processor to the now-empty large bowl. Add sausage to the pork mixture in the food processor and pulse until just combined, about 4 pulses. Transfer sausage-pork mixture to a large bowl with pork mixture. Using hands, gently fold together until mixture is just combined.
Lightly shape mixture into 1 3/4 inch round meatballs (about 1 ounce). Use a light touch when rolling the meatballs to prevent them from being dense. You should have about 24 meatballs. Arrange meatballs, evenly spaced, on prepared rack and bake until browned, about 15 minutes, turn each meatball over about halfway through baking.
If you are making spaghetti and sauce, place your prepared spaghetti sauce in a large pot and simmer until hot. Add meatballs to sauce and gently simmer, turning them occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm over a low flame.
Make pasta and transfer pasta to a large serving platter. Top with meatballs and sauce.
Serves 4 to 6
Source: Cook's Illustrated Magazine