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Thursday, March 6, 2008

fontina stuffed veal meatballs

fontina stuffed veal meatballs

These meatballs are so flavorful and perfect, and who doesn't love a cheese surprise in the middle?? (This is another F&W recipe.) Grocery list: 1.5 pounds veal (or half veal, half pork, or any ground meat you prefer), 1 onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, white bread, 1 egg, parmesan cheese, fontina cheese, tomato paste, 28-oz can diced tomatoes.

Start by cooking the onion in olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes, then add 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, and cool for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add 1tsp minced thyme leaves and a few sprigs of rosemary (also minced). While this cools for about 10 minutes, soak 2 pieces of white bread, crusts removed and torn into small chunks, in a splash of whole milk, for 5-10 minutes. Then squeeze out the milk and add the bread to a big bowl with the cooled onion mixture.

In this big bowl, add 1 beaten egg, 1/4 c grated parmesan, a good dose of salt and pepper, and the veal. Mix well and form into meatballs, and place these on a baking sheet. Count the number of meatballs you have, then cut the same number of little 1/2-inch cubes of fontina cheese. Press the cheese into the center of the meatball then form the meat around the cheese, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes.


In a big skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat and cook the meatballs, turning several times, until browned all over, maybe 8-10 minutes. Then scoop them back onto a plate temporarily. In the same skillet, heat a little more oil if you need it, then add 1-2 garlic cloves *slivered*, cook 3 minutes till golden, then add 2 T tomato paste, stir, then add diced tomatoes and their juices, keep stirring. When the sauce is simmering, add the meatballs back in, then cover and cook over med-low heat for at least 10 minutes (can simmer longer).

surprise in the middle

You can serve the meatballs plain with just a baguette on the side for sopping up juices, or with pasta (I scoop out some of the sauce and toss with the pasta first).

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