Sunday, October 12, 2008

Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better, by Dom DeLuise; Dom's Mom's Meatballs

I asked Chefly Husband to grab me down a cookbook for this week. It surprises me not at all that he selected
Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better! by Dom DeLuise. Published in 1988, it reads like a good Italian granny's recipe box; says Chefly Husband, "we've no Italian blood in our family, and we needed some good Italian." And, boy, did they get it.
Dom's Mom's Meatballs

For as long as I can remember, my mother has never worn makeup. Also, she simply combs her hair straight back in a bun. Can you believe that when I was a child, I thought that bun was filled with meatballs? Good old Mom.

2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
2 cups Italian-flavored bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped very fine
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup pignoli (pine nuts) (optional)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Let stand 1/2 hour. Shape into medium-size meatballs. Fry gently in olive oil until lightly browned, or place on foil on a cookie sheet and bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Gently place in your own hot spaghetti sauce and cook on medium-low heat for 1 hour.

P.S. What I like to do is quadruple the recipe (you'll have about 100 meatballs) and then place the meatballs on large Teflon baking pans. After they're baked and cooled, I put twenty at a time in large Ziploc bags and pop them in the freezer. Then they're ready, willing, and able anytime!

Serves 10, 2 meatballs per person.
Nick's family follows Mr. DeLuise's advice and quadruples the recipe. Evidently, they'll load up the Nesco (ah, regionalisms! My family, if doing the exact same thing, would load up the Crock Pot.) with meatballs and sauce, and put out toothpicks -- instant party food!

The pine nuts really add a nice touch, and they're not as hard to find as they used to be. If you're wondering how big the meatballs should be, the recipe has a picture of the author, holding an ice cream scoop to portion out his meat balls. They're not small, folks.

I didn't grow up eating meatballs -- our meat sauces had ground beef crumbled throughout, not distinct chunks of anything -- but the first time Nick made me these meatballs? I became a meatball fan.

This'll be a fun week, folks, with lots of good autumnal eats.


  1. I agree that we all need a little Italian in the kitchen from time to time...but I think I'd rather nibble on Mr. DeLuise's eldest son. Rawr!

  2. this is a cookbok I would like to own! will you please post more from this cookbook? Anything with spinach in there?

  3. This is a cookbook you should own... it's really fabulous.

    Oh, and Chefly Husband says that the key to these meatballs is to NOT pack them... they need to be very lightly formed, and then seared well (so they'll stay together). If you pack them tight, they'll be lumps of ickiness (my word, not C.H.'s), but a light pack and good sear makes these really spectacular.

    I'll make sure to include a spinach-y recipe this week.

  4. Very good recipe. Basic makes it best, imho. My Italian friend,Tony says you gotta add a piece of meat to the sauce. These meatballs add a lot of flavor. When I make homemade spaghetti and meatballs with garden tomatoes, my kids slurp it down. No chitchat. 'Nuff said. Thank you, Dom