Veal Meatballs with Cabbage and Tomato Sauce


1 small head of cabbage, stemmed 5 minutes
1 lb ground veal
1/2 c parley
1/2 c cilantro
1/2 c rosemary leaves
6 cloves garlic
2 c cooked rice
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 c grated parmigiano

Preheat oven to 425.

Tomato Sauce:
2 28oz cans tomatoes
1 TBSP salt
several celery leaves
6 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves

To make sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium pan and cook for 30 minites over medium heat. Remove bay leaves, purée with immersion blender, set aside.

Chop steamed cabbage and place in the bottom of a baking dish.

In a food processor combine veal, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, garlic, rice, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg and half the cheese, process to blend. Form into meatballs and place on top of the cabbage. Cover with tomato sauce.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes until meatballs cooked through and sauce is bubbling. 

Serves 6 – 8.


Eggplant Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

  This is from VB6 – it is a little time consuming but worth it!

Tomato Sauce:
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, sloced thin
2 TBSP garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Red pepper flakes, to taste
2 – 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 c chopped basil

Put oil in a large pot over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 30 minutes.

Eggplant Meatballs:
3 TBSP olive oil
1 lb eggplant, cubed with skin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 onions sliced thin
1 TBSP garlic, minced
1 c canned white beans
1/4 c fresh parsley, choppped
1 c breadcrumbs
chilli flakes to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Add 1 TBSP olive oil in a pan, over medium heat, add eggplant, season with salt and pepper, add 1/4 c water and cook until tender, 10 – 15 minutes. Transfer to food processor.

Add 1 TBSP olive oil to pan over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook it up soft, about 5 minute. 

Add beans, onion mixture, parsley, breadcrumbs, chili flakes to the processor and pulse until combined and chunky. Scoop into 2 inch balls and place on a oiled baking sheet.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes until brown.


Meatballs with Fregola and Ricotta in Tomato Sauce

This recipe is from F&W. If you can’t find Fregola you can use orzo. These meatballs are light and tender.

1/4 c Fregola or orzo
1 egg
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 c water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c chopped basil
1 TBSP olive oil
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Tomato sauce:
28 oz canned tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP olive oil
2 bay leaves
4 springs parsley
Salt and pepper

In a small pan cook pasta according to package. Drain and cool.

In a medium size pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook for 3 – 5 minutes until softened. Add tomatoes, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add parley and bay leaf and cook over low heat.

In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients except the olive oil and parm. Form into meatballs.

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large pan, over medium heat, add meatballs and cook, browning on all sides until cooked through about 8 minutes.

To serve, place sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl top with meatballs and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.

Ricotta Gnundi with Pomodoro Sauce


Meatless Monday this week involved a lovely light ricotta gnundi in a divine Pomodoro sauce. It comes together pretty quick, but you do need some time for freezing the gnundi for 30 minutes – 1 hour. I use a 1 inch cookie scoop to form the gnundi, you can also use two spoons.

1 28 oz can tomatoes, puréed
2 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz ricotta
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk , lightly beaten
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c Parmesan, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c flour, plus more for dusting

Parmesan and toasted pine nuts

Heat oil over medium heat, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt. Bring to boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine gnundi ingredients.

Place a piece of parchment on a large baking sheet, dust with flour.

Form gnundi into 1 inch balls with a cookie scoop or two spoons. Dust with flour and freeze for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add gnundi and cook for 6 minutes.

Serve with sauce, Parmesan and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Pasta in Tomato Sauce with Eggplant


When it’s been one of those days, instead of reaching for a take out menu, I reach for a bag of pasta. It usually takes less time, is healthier and makes for great leftovers!! This is inspired from Patricia Wells Trattoria cookbook – I used less pasta, upped the veg and lowered the dat – still tasted amazing!!

1/2 c olive oil, divided
1 small onion, minced
2 plump fresh garlic cloves, minced
one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 lb firm medium eggplant, cubed (do not peel)
8 oz pasta
8 oz burrata or mozzarella, cubed
Hot pepper flakes

In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1/4 c olive oil over moderately high heat. When the oil is hot add the eggplant and cook until browned about 10 minutes, stir often. Season generously with salt. Remove the eggplant from the pan and onto a plate and set aside. Allow the pan to cool off.

In the same skillet used for the eggplant, combine the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook over moderate heat just until the garlic turns golden but does not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir to blend, and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Cook pasta according to package.

Add the eggplant and pasta into the pan with the tomato sauce. Toss to blend. Cover and let rest off the heat for 1-2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. transfer the pasta to warmed shallow bowls and sprinkle each serving with cubed mozzarella. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Squash Blossom Pizza


This is from Nancy Silverton’s The Mozza Cookbook, and it may be the best pizza I’ve ever had! Part of what makes it so special is squash blossoms can be hard to come by. The cool creamy burrata on top makes it decedent!

20 squash blossoms
1 round of pizza dough
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 c tomato sauce
4 oz burrata
Finishing qualify olive oil
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 500.

Remove the stem stamen/pistol from the blossoms. The best way to do this is to use kitchen sheers to cut about 3/4 of the way through just below the stem and pull the stem and stamen/pistol out.

Roll out the dough. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Spoon sauce over the dough. Lay the blossoms in a concentric circle with the petals facing out.

Bake for 8 – 12 minutes until brown and crispy.

Remove pizza and cut into slices. Cut the burrata into equal chunks and place on each slice of pizza, drizzle with finishing quality olive oil, grind pepper over burrata and serve.

Serves 4.