Meatballs and Penne

Meatballs and Penne

By Chris

My favorite comfort food is pasta with meat balls.  It doesn’t have to be spaghetti, in fact my favorite pasta is penne.  Something about the shape of the noodles, the way sauce sticks inside the tunnels, whether it is a meat sauce, tomato sauce or just pesto, it’s undeniably comfortable.  Throw in meatballs, the kind I learned to make years ago from an Italian friend, and you have the perfect meal.  What the BKM allowed me to do is grind the beef and chop up the vegetables in a fraction of the time it would have taken me to do this by hand.  For this application – this came in very handy.

Here’s my take on meatballs made using the BKM.   I bought the lean “ground” pork, but had to grind up the beef, that’s only because the store I went to didn’t have lean ground beef – I know, ridiculous.  But it did give me a chance to pick up some eye of round (about 2 steaks) and test out the BKM.  Here’s my recipe using the eye of round steaks.

Ingredients:
1 lb. eye of round steaks (the package I bought had 2 steaks)
½ lb. lean ground pork
¼ cup parsley
¼ – ½ cup ground parmesan cheese
½ cup panko crumbs
1 egg
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Salt/pepper to taste – remember you’ve added parmesan cheese and that is already salty
Crushed Chilies to taste

Preheat your oven to 375f
Line a tray with tin foil or parchment
Roughly chop the steaks, add them to the BKM jug
Using speed 7, pulse the steaks until they are ground (took about 10 pulses for me) – I left mine a little coarse as an experiment – do not over mix as you don’t want a paste
Remove the meat to a mixing bowl
To the same BKM jug, add the parsley, carrots, onions, celery and crushed chilies to the BKM jug – pulse, speed 6 to grind – note, I didn’t rinse this out as it was beef I just ground but would definitely have washed it out if I was grinding pork or chicken
Add half of this mixture to the mixing bowl along with the pork, parmesan cheese, panko and egg
Mix well by hand (there are some things you must use your hands for) – the meat should be of a texture that will allow you to easily shape into meatballs – if it is too wet, add a little more panko and mix
Form the meatballs and place on the lined tray – 2 baking instructions below:
If you plan on adding the meatballs to the sauce just before serving – bake at 375f for 20 minutes
If you plan on simmering the meat balls in the sauce – bake at 375f for 15 minutes, then add to the sauce and simmer for a further 15 minutes (I prefer this method)

The convenience of being able to mix everything in one jug is such a delight. I could have used the BKM mixer attachment to mix the raw mixture before forming the meatballs, but prefer to do this part of it by hand. Pictures of the finished dish follow this posting – topped with parmesan cheese and chili flakes.  As always – enjoy!

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