Thursday, November 08, 2007

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, French Style

I saw this recipe in Food and Wine magazine and when I realized Chef Jacques Pépin created it, I had to try it. But of course, being the Virgo that I am, I gave it a few of my own touches. The meatballs are quite easy to make and the tomato sauce is so wonderful and flavorful you will be surprised how easy it is. You can make the entire meal in about 40 minutes or less and make sure you have a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau open and ready for your meal!



  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/4 pound Italian bulk sausage
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

MAKE THE MEATBALLS: In a large bowl, mix all of meatball ingredients with your hands until blended, but do not overwork meat. Form the mixture into 16 meatballs and flatten slightly.

Arrange the meatballs on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes. Turn over and bake another 6 to 7 minutes until firm but not hard. Transfer the meatballs to a large plate.

MAKE THE SAUCE: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, thyme and oregano and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook over moderate heat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until slightly chunky; alternatively, puree the sauce in blender and return the sauce to the saucepan.

In amall saucepan, cover the olives with water and bring to a boil over high heat; drain well. Add the olives to the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and simmer 5 more minutes or until heated through and serve. You can serve the meatballs with Gnocchi Parisienne (recipe coming soon) or spaghetti.

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