By: MATTHEW DEMILLE CHEF
Ingredients (serves 4 ppl)
For the meatballs
- 1 lb of medium ground beef
- 4 mild or spicy Italian Sausage, taken out of casing
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp of dried thyme
- 1 tbsp of dried oregano
- tbsp of dried basil
- tbsp of onion powder
- 2 tbsp of garlic powder
- 2 eggs, cracked in a bowl and whisked
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper Olive oil
For the sauce
- 1 can of tomato puree
- 1 can of whole plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of fennel seeds
- 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 sprig of fresh basil
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
For the polenta
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of polenta
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp of fresh thyme
- 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the ground beef and sausage meat with all other ingredients seasoning well with kosher salt & pepper. Mix well.
- Place a small frying pan onto medium-high heat.
- Fry off a small piece of the meatball mix and pop it in your mouth to try. This is where you can tweak the seasoning before you commit to making the meatballs. Does it need more salt? Maybe more garlic or herbs? Each person’s taste is different.
- Once your happy with the mix, portion into 2 oz balls by coating your hands in a bit of water and rolling between your hands. They don’t have to be perfect!
- Bake meatballs @ 400ºF for 20 min.
- Meanwhile, place a medium-large sauce-pan on medium heat. Add in a few glugs of olive oil then the garlic and fennel seeds. Allow garlic to brown slightly and fennel seeds to toast.
- Add both tomato cans, smoked paprika and basil into the pot and bring to a simmer. Allow to bubble away for 20-30 min.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce pot and continue to simmer for 15-20 min.
- Put a medium sized sauce-pot onto the stove on medium heat and add in the milk, nutmeg + fresh thyme.
- Allow the milk to simmer for a few minutes to infuse.
- Slowly whisk in the polenta until completely combined with milk. Turn heat to low and let polenta simmer for a few minutes.
- Fold in the cheese and butter and season to taste. The consistency may need to be adjusted by adding more mil. However, the end result should be soft + creamy.
- Spoon polenta evenly between 4 large bowls or plates.
- Top polenta with 3 meatballs and finish with a drizzle of good olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
NOTE: If your not a fan of polenta put meatballs in a sub bun with the mozzarella and pickled hot peppers or place one in a slider bun OR slice them and use them in the layers when you make lasagna next time.
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