Boar Meatballs with Winter Salad

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I love boar and these meatballs are the most amazing unctuous little meatballs ever! Served alongside a winter salad and roasted butternut squash – amazing!!

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
Olive oil
2 slices white bread, ripped into pieces
1/2 c milk
3/4 lb ground boar
4 oz pancetta, small dice
2 TBSP marjoram, minced
4 large eggs – 3 for dipping
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 c fine breadcrumbs (run through the food processor if needed)
3/4 c flour
1 bag mixed greens
1 TBSP apple cider
1/4 c pomegranate juice (purée in food processor and drain through sieve)
1 TBSP hazelnut or olive oil
1/4 c pomegranate seeds
1/4 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, pour milk over bread and soak for 5 minutes. Place flour in a shallow bowl, mix with 1 TBSP marjoram, salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, beat 3 eggs with 2 TBSP water. In a 3rd shallow bowl pour the fine breadcrumbs. In the bowl with the soaking bread add the boar, pancetta, 1 egg, marjoram, salt and pepper; combine with hands. Roll into 1 inch balls, roll in flour, dip in egg then breadcrumbs, place on a baking sheet.

Bake squash for 10 minutes, then place boar balls in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

In a small bowl combine hazelnut oil, pom juice and cider vinegar. Toss with salad greens and top with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds.

To serve place meatballs and squash with salad.

Serves 6.

Porcini & Eggplant Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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I love meatless Monday! It’s a healthy way to kick start the week. This dish is adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, and trust me you are not going to miss the meat! It does take about 2 hours total, but most of the time is hands off. This dish makes great leftovers for a healthy lunch. My meat loving hubby even asked when I was making these again! Winner Winner Veggie Dinner!

Ingredients:
2 – 3 small eggplants (1/12 lbs)
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms,
2 TBSP olive oil
2 small onion,minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-ounce cans imported whole Italian tomatoes, puréed with juice
2 c breadcrumbs
2 large eggs (beaten),
2 c Italian cheese, grated (I used a combo of Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and Asiago)
3 TBSP parsley, chopped
all purpose flour
salt, pepper and chilli pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; prick the eggplant all over with a fork and set it on a baking sheet. Roast in the center of oven for approximately 1 hour until very soft and collapsed. Let cool slightly, then slice open eggplant and scrape the flesh into a large bowl and let cool completely. Discard the skin, purée the eggplant.

Meanwhile in heat proof bowl, cover the dried porcini mushrooms with 1 1/2 c of boiling water and let stand until softened, approximately 30 minutes. Drain through a cheesecloth lined sieve, reserve the soaking liquid. Rinse the porcini to remove any grit, then finely chop the mushrooms.

In a 12 inch skillet heat olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, half the garlic, salt and pepper and chilli pepper flakes, cook over moderately high heat, keep stirring until softened (5 minutes). Add the tomato puree and pour in the porcini soaking liquid, bring it to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, approximately 1 hour.

To prepare the “meatballs”: Fold the chopped porcini, bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, parsley, remaining garlic and chopped basil into the eggplant. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Line the baking sheet with wax paper. Form the eggplant mixture into 2 inch balls, rolling tightly. Dust them with flour lightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes – 3 hours.

In a large non stick skillet heat 1 – 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat – add meatballs but do not overcrowd the pan (you may need to do two batches). Cook for about 10 minutes turning to brown on all sides. Add to tomato sauce.

Serve with a little cheese on top.

Serves 4 – 6.

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Turkey & Ricotta Meatballs

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The one thing I know my kids will eat are meatballs. These are unctuous little bites that are also low fat! I make a big batch and freeze some for future quick weeknight meals.

Ingredients:
2/3 c ricotta
2 TBSP canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fennel pollen
1 TBSP dried sage
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 c panko
1 lb ground turkey

Preheat oven to 275.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Use your hands to mix.

Line a baking a baking sheet with parchment paper, use a small cookie scoop to shape meatballs, drop onto parchment.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat, spray with olive oil, add meatballs in batches, cooking 1 – 2 min per side. Remove to a glass baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce.

Makes 40 meatballs.