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.
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.
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.
A bunch of Italian parsley coarsely chopped. A whole head of garlic, chopped.
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.
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.
Then Into the hot hot oil. Don’t use olive oil. Its smoke point is too low. Use an oil blend designed for frying.