For the longest time, I have only made spaghetti with meat sauce, never meatballs. That is until my recent visits to Sicilian Butcher in Scottsdale. For whatever reason, I never like meatballs. In my first few visits to Sicilian Butcher, I did not cast my eyes on this item on the menu.
Several weeks ago, we dropped into Sicilian Butcher again; tired, thirty, and hungry. I just wanted something to fill my tummy quickly. The waitress recommended their famous meatballs over pasta, and we went for it
When the food was served, Wow! The most tender, juicy meatballs I’ve ever tasted!
I came back and searched for copycat Tomaso Sicilian Meatball right away, and found this post on lacucinaitaliana . Unsure if it is the real Tomaso recipe, I gave it a try anyway. I don’t like beef nor lamb, so I substituted with ground chicken and spicy Italian sausage. I don’t like provolone either, so I substituted with white cheddar. I also skipped the Calabrian chile pepper in the original recipe since I am using spicy Italian sausage (one less ingredient to buy!)
I like the outcome; not as tender and juicy as the one I tasted at Sicilian Butcher probably because of the meat substitution. This recipe is a keeper.
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 lb spicy italian sausage
- 1 lb ground chiicken
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 1/2 slices white bread, torn and soaked in milk
- 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in warm water until plump and drained.
- 1/4 cup chopped pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated white cheddar
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp spoon breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
- 2 large eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Marina sauce for braising the meatballs
- Sauté chopped onion with one tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt over low heat until caramelized, about 20 mins. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Fry minced garlic with remaining half tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat until browned.
- Combine onion, garlic, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. I wear food prep glove and mix the ingredients by hand until they are well incorporated.
- Divide and roll the mixture into meatballs. The larger the meatballs, the longer it takes to cook. I used a cookie scope to measure and roll them into even-sized balls.
- Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown. Baking time depends on the size of the meatballs, about 15 minutes for the size of my meatballs. This recipe makes quite a large batch. I froze some of them for another meal.
- In a sauce pan, heat marina sauce with meat balls over medium high heat. Once sauce is simmering, reduce to medium low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve with toast or pasta.