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Spicy pork-beef meatballs

Spicy pork-beef meatballs


4 eggs
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 lb. ground pork (see note)
1 lb. ground beef (80 percent lean)
6 oz. prosciutto, chopped very small
2 cups breadcrumbs (made from Italian or French loaf)
1 cup finely chopped Calabrian chilies (may substitute desired amount of dried red chili flakes or red Fresno chilies)
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano cheese (may substitute Parmesan)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. toasted and ground fennel seeds
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. red chili flakes

3 quarts San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
1 bunch basil (approximately 2 cups loose basil leaves)

Meatball preparation
1quart olive oil, for frying
2 cups flour, for coating meatballs

San Francisco chef Adam Keough makes meatballs with a kick. Serve with crusty bread or over your favorite type of pasta.


For meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, ricotta and milk in a bowl and lightly whisk together. Place remaining meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Pour ricotta mixture over. Mix well with your hands. (Clean hands with antibacterial soap after handling raw meat.) Form into golf ball-sized meatballs and put on a large tray lined with wax paper. Set aside.

For sauce: Crush tomatoes and heat, along with basil, in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To prepare: Heat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Lightly coat meatballs with flour and fry in the oil until golden brown. Remove meatballs from oil and drain on paper towels. Fry 9 to 10 meatballs at a time, depending on the size of your fryer. Repeat until all meatballs are fried.

Place meatballs in a large, deep baking pan. Pour tomato and basil sauce over meatballs. Cover with aluminum foil. Braise meatballs in tomato sauce (and be sure to spoon sauce over basil so it doesn't brown while cooking). Place in oven and bake at low heat (325 to 350 degrees, depending on your oven) for approximately 60 to 90 minutes or until meatballs are browned and cooked through. Be sure to stir and rotate meatballs gently every 20 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread or over your favorite type of pasta. These are best topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped basil and good extra virgin olive oil.

Note: In the restaurant, Chef Adam adds 1/2 pound of ground fatback to his meatballs. You can ask your butcher to custom grind this for you; however, it is an optional ingredient.

Makes 15 to 20 medium-sized meatballs