meatballs on creamy polenta with homemade tomato sauce
- 4 TBS olive oil, divided
- 2 onions, peeled and minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (equal parts beef, veal and pork)
- 1/2 cup minced proscuitto
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 4 TBS heavy cream
- 4 TBS butter
- 5 large tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks or 1 can (16oz) San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil, separate stems from leaves
- 1 1/2 cups ground corn for polenta
- 4 TBS Parmesan cheese
- In a large saucepan heat 2 TBS of the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until transluscent, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl mix together the ground meats, salt and black pepper.
- Mix in the garlic/onions, proscuitto, breadcrumbs, the eggs, the Gruyere, and 2 TBS of the cream. Chill for 1 hour.
- Roll the mixture into 1 1/2″ balls
- In a large saucepan heat 2 TBS and 1 TBS butter over medium heat until frothy.Saute the meatballs until golden on all sides. Then add the tomatoes and their juices and the basil stems.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Keep warm.
- While the meatballs and sauce cook, make the polenta.
- In a saucepan heat the 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt until simmering.
- Slowly pour in the cornmeal stirring with a wooden spoon, and cook gently for 1 hour adding more water if the polenta looks dry.
- When the polenta is cooked add in the remaining 2 TBS butter, 2 TBS cream and season with salt.
- Gently cut the basil leaves into strips and add to the sauce.
- To serve: place the polenta on a plate, top with the sauce and meatballs. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan cheese
How I changed the recipe:
- I used eggplant meatballs so I did not try this meatball recipe
- I made the tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes. I let them cook until they were soft, then I added eggplant meatballs
- I found that my polenta did not need to cook for near as long as indicated. It was done within 2o minutes.
- I added the basil to the polenta for a change of flavor.
Keywords: meatballs, polenta, Barbuta, comfort food