Meatballs!

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Servings vary depending on size of meatballs (AND how many you can eat at one time).

Tip: I like to make a large batch of meatballs to freeze for future meals. If I think they will all be used in Italian-style dishes, I add the marjoram and oregano listed in the recipe. If I want a little more flavor flexibility, I exclude those herbs knowing they can be added to a sauce later.  Freeze the baked & cooled meatballs individually on a sheetpan, then toss into freezer bags. Use as many or few as you want at one time.

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
10 slices day-old bakery bread
Whole milk to cover bread
6 eggs
3/4 cup parsley
3 Tbsp dried marjoram (optional)
2 Tbsp dried oregano (optional)
6 cloves garlic
8 oz Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prep
Remove & discard crusts from bread slices; cut bread into chunks (size is not critical).
In a medium bowl, cover the bread chunks with milk and soak for about 2 minutes. Drain the milk from bread chunks and squeeze with one hand to press out excess moisture. Place the moistened bread into a large bowl.
Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl.
Chop parsley.
Mince garlic cloves.
Grate cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Directions
In the large bowl holding your moistened bread, add pork, beef, eggs, parsley, (marjoram & oregano if using), garlic, cheese, pine nuts, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper; mix with your hands to incorporate all ingredients, but do not overmix! (Note: I like to use disposable latex gloves for this.) You don’t have to measure the meatballs into exact portions, but I like to use a #20 ice cream scoop to get them to a similar size; you can make larger or smaller meatballs as you prefer. Scoop all the meatball portions onto waxed paper or a clean cutting board. Wet your hands with cold water, re-wetting them as needed; form each scoop gently into a meatball. Do not pack tightly or your meatballs may turn out dense and dry. Moist breadcrumbs and a light touch are key. Place the meatballs, not touching, on a baking sheet with at least 1-inch sides. Cook them in batches if there is not enough room for all on one baking sheet. Alternatively, you can fry the meatballs in a deep skillet, in batches, on the stovetop.

Place pan(s) in the preheated oven and bake/roast for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your meatballs. You can turn them once during the cooking period if you prefer. I don’t worry about them being a little flat on one side. They should be golden brown and cooked all the way through, but remember that they can easily turn dry if overcooked.

Meatballs can be added to your favorite pasta, served in sauce with crusty bread for dipping, tucked into a sandwich bun with cheese and other yummy toppings, sliced to add to Creamy Stuffed Peppers or many other delicious options.

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