Category Archives: zucchini

Spaghetti and Vivacious Veal Meatballs

Yes, I used the word ‘vivacious’ to describe food. That’s just how it’s going to be, ok?

Meatballs require a little bit of time and effort. They should also be small. My mom used to make these large honkin’ meatballs in gravy. They were delicious, but huge. Ma! Why’d you gotta make ’em so huge? Don’t ask your Mama questions like that. She’ll shoot daggers, spit some venomous one-liner, or smack you.

I am so full, I’m having trouble typing this post. Not kidding.

Linda ran some errands yesterday, so I asked her to pick up some ground chicken. The supermarket she went to (Cousins in Port Credit) had no ground chicken! She picked up veal instead. Way better choice. Smart woman. She also picked me up a spaghetti squash.

If you’ve read my previous blog postings, you’ll know how to prepare spaghetti squash. I’m going to skip the prep instructions for this. So, don’t be lazy…go do some reading.

On to some foooooooooood!

Spaghetti and Vivacious Veal Meatballs

The Vivacious Veal Meatballs

2.5 lbs of ground veal
1.5 tablespoons each of fresh sage and thyme, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 tablespoons butter
Two pinches of red pepper flakes
Sea salt

Melt butter in a small frying pan over medium heat; add your chopped garlic and stir constantly for about 1 minute. The butter will bubble and toil! Remove from heat, but keep stirring, otherwise your garlic may very well burn. The garlic by this time will turn a light golden brown. This is good. Let this mixture cool.

In a large bowl, combine the veal, garlic ‘n butter, sage, thyme, sea salt (about .5 teaspoon), and red pepper flakes. Really mix this through with your hands to get everything well distributed.

Now, get to work. Start rolling this meat mixture into the size of a plum. Set these up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 26 meatballs.

Da Base for Da Sauce

1/2 large white onion, diced
1 zucchini, cut into quarter pieces, about 1/4″ thick
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Butter and lard for frying, about 1/2 tablespoon each
Sea salt
1/2 cup water for deglazing

Melt your fat in a large pot over medium heat. Add in your onions first, and let ’em sweat it out for a minute or two. Add in your zucchini, plus Italian seasoning and sea salt. Let these veggies hang out until they’ve achieved a rich golden brown. Move ’em out of the way for your water, and deglaze your pan, scraping up all those tasty brown bits in the process. A wooden spoon does the job nicely.

Remove from heat onto a plate.

Now you’ll need 2 tablespoons of lard to fry your meatballs. Heat your pot to about medium heat again, and add your lard. Add in your meatballs slowly, one by one, into the fat. Don’t overcrowd them, or else they won’t brown nicely. After about 4 minutes, carefully flip ’em. After another 3 – 4 minutes, remove from heat. You’ll do these in two batches. Remove and place onto a plate.

Da Sauce

4 ladles of bone broth
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Sea salt to taste

Increase heat to medium-high, and add in your rich, beautiful bone broth. Using a wooden spoon, be sure to scrape up the yummy stuff from the bottom. As this starts to simmer, add in your garlic, tomato paste, sea salt and seasoning. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat way down to low. Add in your meatballs carefully. Get ’em all in there, all happy to be hanging out with this rich brothy sauce. Let these guys cook for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until your spaghetti squash is done cooking in the microwave.

Serve over top hot steaming spaghetti squash. You may need a knife, fork and a spoon to eat this. Whatever utensils you use, please enjoy 😀

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MEATZZA!!!

 

 

 

 

When I was 7 years old, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered:

“A PIZZA MAKER!”

I’d hand in my two-dollars to the principal’s office on pizza day last minute just so I could have my pizza. Sigh.

My first job at 16? Dominos Pizza.

Yup. Hard-core pizza addict. Still, the best pizza I’ve ever had is at Lombardi’s in NYC. Here at home, it’s Amadio’s Pizza in Port Credit.

But since wheat is out of my life, when I saw Mark Sisson’s post on MDA for “Meatzza”, I nearly cried. What could be better and more filling than a ground beef ‘crust’, topped with thinly sliced vegetables?

Edited March 27th, 2015. Meatzza is good, don’t get me wrong. But it ain’t pizza. GIVE ME GLUTEN-FILLED ‘ZZA ANY DAY! YAAAAAAS!!!

I’m not going to waste your time. Let’s have at it!

MEATZZA!

For your ‘crust’

1.5 lbs extra or lean ground beef
3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning (sage, rosemary, basil, marjoram, oregano)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Sea salt, pepper

Sauce and toppings

1 small can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Italian seasoning, garlic powder
Thinly sliced zucchini (about half a small one)
1/4 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
1/4 fresh jalapeño, chopped finely
Bit more sea salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine your ground beef, 3 tablespoons of italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and sea salt/pepper to taste. Really mix this up nicely so the seasoning is thoroughly combined.

Have a large piece of parchment paper covering your baking sheet. Take your ball of ‘dough’, and using CLEAN hands, start to this flatten this out carefully. You want a crust about half an inch thick. Don’t worry if it’s not a perfect square or rectangle. Think out of the box. This is MEATZZA! Who cares what shape it’s in?!

Once your oven is ready, pop your crust in for about 10 – 12 minutes. You will want to remove it when it’s almost done to drain off any fat that has rendered out. Be careful that you don’t dump your crust into the sink! I held mine down with a spatula as the fat drained off. Put it back in for the last few minutes. It will not be completely done through. This is ok. Remove it at around the 12 minute mark.

In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, olive oil, sea salt and pepper, italian seasoning and extra garlic powder to your taste. I added about half a tablespoon each, approx. Remember kiddies: I eyeball everything in the kitchen. It’s worked for over 25 years 😉

Spread your tomato sauce over your ‘crust’. Now you get to top your ‘zza! WOO! I placed my zucchini slices down first, sprinkled shallots overtop, then peppers, then jalapeños. A word about jalapeños: you can leave the seeds in if you like. That’s where all the heat hangs out, and they have wild parties together. Or leave ’em out if you’re so inclined. Also, be sure to WASH YOUR HANDS WELL after handling jalapeños, or any hot pepper for that matter. Otherwise, you may rub your eyes and feel a nasty burning sensation. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! I totally did.

I sprinkled sea salt and extra italian seasoning on top.

Before placing your meatzza back in the oven, turn your broiler on high. Now, all we’re doing is browning the top and cooking through the rest of the crust and the veggies. You will want to watch your meatzza very carefully, and periodically remove it to drain excess fat. If you don’t, your oven will fill with smoke, and your significant other will shoot daggers at you. So, be mindful of your ‘zza!

The browning process should take less than 10 minutes. Again, watch your ‘zza, and take it out when your veggies are sexy and golden brown.

DIG.
IN.

 

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