Chef Way To make juicy meatballs, Andrew Carmellini mixes ground pork loin and jowl with pancetta and nearly 20 other ingredients. He then braises the meatballs in a spicy tomato-chickpea sauce.
Easy Way Mix the meat in a food processor, leaving out the pork jowl and about a dozen other ingredients. Instead of meatballs, which require time to form, shape the meat into loaves then cook them in a spicy tomato sauce blended with prepared hummus.
Slideshow: More Italian Main Dishes
Four 1-inch-thick slices of Italian bread, crusts removed, bread soaked in 1 cup of milk and squeezed dry
4 ounces sliced bacon
4 ounces sliced prosciutto
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 roasted red pepper from a jar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup prepared plain hummus
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse the bread, bacon and prosciutto. Add the onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted pepper and eggs; process to a paste. Pulse in the parsley, thyme, crushed red pepper, oregano and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and knead in the pork.
Preheat the broiler. Pat the mixture into two 8-inch-long loaves. In a large nonstick roasting pan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Transfer the loaves to the pan and cook over moderate heat until the bottoms are browned, 6 minutes. Brush the tops with oil and broil until slightly browned, 8 minutes. Lower the oven to 350°.
In a cup, combine the tomato puree, stock and hummus. Pour the mixture into the roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one of the loaves registers 180°. Light the broiler.
Spoon some of the sauce over the loaves and broil for 5 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a platter and serve with the gravy.
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