So what do you do when you want a good tasting meatball, but you don’t want to use beef, and you have dinner guests who don’t eat red beef or pork? Well, for me, I turned to bison then added turkey pepperoni for some added flavor. Now I’m not a huge fan of anchovies, so you won’t find them in this sauce of mine, but if you are~~I say, have at it! Mince about two tablespoons and throw them in!
This is the type of dish that you can make a day ahead because as we know, if these meatballs and the sauce hangs out overnight in the refrigerator, the next day it’s even bettahhhh! Just put it in a big ol’ skillet over low heat and let the warmth erupt the magnificent flavors that have developed over time!
Food Styling Note~~I just love serving any kind of pasta in skillets~~whether it’s the individual serving or the entire serving skillet~~take a gander at a couple of ways I’ve done it for dinner!
What you need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (from above)
1/3 cup concentrated tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 jar Italian marinara (get a very good brand)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup drained capers
1/2 cup drained pitted green olives
1/3 cup drained black pitted olives
1 cup grated Parmesan (divided)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1/4 cup very finely minced shallots
2 tbl very finely minced garlic
1 lb ground bison
3/4 cup finely chopped turkey pepperoni
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red chili flakes
Cooking spray (canola or olive oil)
What you do:
In large heavy skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil and tomato paste and blend cooking about 3 minutes. Add the red wine slowly. It should sizzle. Cook about 3 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, basil, blend, reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid, and let this cook about 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the capers, olives, and 2/3 cup of the Parmesan after 20 minutes. Blend well. Reduce heat to medium low and let the sauce simmer. Meanwhile, make the meatballs.
In another large heavy skillet over medium heat, put 1/4 cup olive oil, shallots, garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Pour this into a large mixing bowl. Set the skillet aside.
Add the remaining meatball ingredients into the mixing bowl and blend well with your hands. The mixture should be thick and adhesive~~roll into desired size meatballs. Coat all over with cooking spray. If you need a little extra breadcrumbs to bind the mixture, then add. Place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Use the shallot/garlic skillet. Put on medium high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Cook another 45-60 minutes on low gently stirring around and moving/covering the meatballs with sauce occasionally. Serve with your favorite pasta!
©alice d’antoni phillips www.allyskitchen.com