Traditional Italian Meatballs

Nothing is more delicious to me than Italian food. Maybe its that quarter of Italian heritage that runs through my blood, or maybe its just that Italians are brilliant when it comes to comfort food. In my opinion they really own it. I mean...pizza, fresh pasta, cheese! Those are the staples of the carb lovers diet and who doesn't love carbs? I know I do! I really love them. But for me what is even better than eating Italian food is cooking it. Steeped in tradition, their is something so comforting about standing over your stove cooking a pot of fresh sauce. Or rolling out pasta dough for a fresh ravioli. For me, Italian cooking is more than just cooking, it is a traditional way of living. Every time I make Italian food I picture myself in Italy. I find myself in the kitchen of a countryside villa with the fresh scent of lemons blowing in from the orchard through the open windows. The sweet warm summer wind gently caressing the hem of my apron. It is tradition that moves me, tradition that inspires my imagination and tradition that is rooted in every Italian recipe. Meatballs are tradition, their are countless recipes for them and I have never met anyone that doesn't enjoy them. Covered in sauce and cheese these are the epitome of traditional comfort food. 

Traditional Italian Meatballs 

2 lbs ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

1 1/2 cups fresh ground bread crumbs (I used sourdough that I had leftover in the freezer)

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for browning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Place all ingredients except buttermilk and egg in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg with the buttermilk and pour over meat mixture. Mix with your hands or with a fork until well combine. Shape the meat mixture into 2 inch balls.

Place about 1/8-1/4 inch of olive oil in a dutch oven set over med/high heat. Once the oil is hot place meatballs in the hot oil, (don't over crowd them) and let brown on both sides. 

Once all the meatballs have been browned, bake them in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes until they are cooked through. This makes them so amazing! I never used to do this step, I would just let them finish cooking in the sauce, but I think this step is what made these meatballs so good!

Serve over pasta with your favorite sauce, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil! 

Note: These freeze exceptionally well. I used the leftover frozen meatballs for a "Meatball Parmesan" where I took them directly from the freezer, placed them in a baking dish covered them in sauce + cheese and baked them at 350 until bubbly and hot. Served with mashed potatoes this was a really yummy (and easy) dinner that my husband LOVED!