Meatball Sunday

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The Italian air just inspires one’s inner chef. I also have my grandmother’s inspiration to draw from. It’s not a good week for me unless I can spend one whole day cooking. It’s usually Sunday. Today I made her chicken broth and her meatballs.  Like all great Italian cooks, grandma never really measured anything, and so neither do I.

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The chicken broth couldn’t be easier. One large chicken (or two small ones), a whole head of celery, and two handfuls of parsley, and two bay leaves. Boil for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Skim the scum after it boils. Salt after you strain it to taste.

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Equal parts pork and beef. Lots of pepper. Some salt. And crushed dried red pepper.

I bought my red pepper flakes in Alberobello when I went to visit Puglia for Christmas. This shop will blow your mind. Bring lots of money: you will want to eat the walls.

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A bunch of Italian parsley coarsely chopped. A whole head of garlic, chopped.

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Four gorgeous orange-yolked Italian eggs. Equal parts grated parmiggiano reggiano and bread crumbs (gluten free for me). I used about 1/3 as much dry stuff as meat.

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Mix with yo hands.

And then roll ’em. Little smaller than a golf ball. Also made some about the diameter of a dime – itty bitty ones for boiling in the chicken broth to make grandma’s Italian Wedding Soup, AKA Christmas Soup, AKA meatballs in chicken broth.

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Then Into the hot hot oil. Don’t use olive oil. Its smoke point is too low. Use an oil blend designed for frying.

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