right now, eleanor’s favorite food is “spaghetti with meatballs.” she would eat it every day if we let her. :) we’ll be at a chinese restaurant and she’ll ask for it. we’ll be eating breakfast and she’ll ask for it. lol. so the other day when she randomly grabbed josh’s hand and said, “papa, we should make meatballs together sometime”, it just made sense. haha! josh was elated! he does the majority of the cooking right now in our home (so thankful we are able to really divide and conquer when it comes to being a team over here at the davis home when it comes to work, chores, parenting, all of it.), so he was all about having a little helper help him make some meatballs!
eleanor helped him with every step of the meatball making, too! from picking out a few of the ingredients at our local grocery store, to grating the parmesan cheese and packing the meatballs. i grabbed my camera and popped into the kitchen every once in a while to snap a few photos of these two together because seriously, it was the sweetest thing. besides making some good food together, i’m really thankful for their daddy-daughter bond, and as a wife and mother, witnessing that bond and friendship and love means everything to me.
anyway, a really delicious (and easy!) meatball recipe below, plus a ton of photos (you know i can’t help it!)
i know i’ve talked about this before, but that parmigiano reggiano cheese is our absolute favorite!! (i think you can get it most places.)
sounding out the words and helping papa read the recipe! (i’ve included it below if anyone wants to try it!)
bread crumbs! i was actually kind of bummed that both samson and conrad were napping during this, because i know this step in the process had their names written all over it! pouring bread crumbs everywhere?! probably a good thing they were napping, in retrospect.
grating nutmeg! she told papa it reminded her of his ginger cookies he always makes on christmas eve and that they should make those next. :)
sprinkling the last touches of parmesan on top of their finished dish!
so delicious! conrad was still snoozing, but samson and i enjoyed the biggest bowls!
meatballs by josh and eleanor:
hi everyone! this is josh. some of naomi’s neighbors gifted us an italian cookbook as our wedding present. it has turned out to be one of the best things we received. it’s called “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan. i use it often as the basis for our italian recipes, changing them up a little bit based on which ingredients we like or don’t like and sometimes doing them a little bit in my own way. here is the meatballs recipe i did with eleanor (which i doubled).
1/4 to 1/3 of a loaf of italian or artisanal style white bread (try to leave it out to dry for 3 days before hand so it is hard)
1/3 cup of milk
1 pounds of ground beef (preferably chuck, 20% fat)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (24 month aged is best!)
1 whole nutmeg
fine unflavored breadcrumbs
vegetable oil (i used safflower oil)
1 cup of fresh tomatoes, diced (and/or whatever marinara sauce you are using for your pasta)
- trim away the bread’s crust, soak the bread in the milk in a large bowl, flipping the bread so both sides can soak
- prep all other ingredients while it soaks, put the bread crumbs on a plate, and start boiling water for your pasta if you need it
- mash up the bread in the milk with your hands or a fork, then add the meat, parsley, cheese, 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, egg, olive oil, salt and pepper
- mix all the ingredients by hand and roll into balls 1-2 inches wide
- roll the meatballs in the breadcrumbs and set aside on another dish
- heat a skillet or frying pan big enough to hold all the meatballs in a single layer with enough vegetable oil to make it 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep
- once the oil is very hot (try flicking a few drops of water in it to see), place the meatballs gently in, turning over only after one side is firm and a medium dark brown color
- drain the oil, add the tomatoes (or whatever sauce you are using for your pasta), mix carefully, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes (or until they are cooked throughout)
- test the meatballs to ensure they’re cooked, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
- if you’re eating the meatballs with pasta (and you don’t have to!), cook your pasta noodles so they are done shortly after the 20 minutes. just make sure the meatballs are done first! they will stay warm in a covered pan long enough for your pasta noodles to cook at the end too.