Original recipe

1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumb
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

This recipe was no frills, super simple, and totally delicious. Essentially you just slap together all first tier ingredients , form 2 inch balls, dredge in flour, brown in the olive oil, and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

I basically stuck to the recipe, but I made a few changes. First, I split the batch in order to try half all-beef and half beef/pork/veal mix (which was on sale). I also substituted parmigiano reggiano plus a pinch of sugar in place of parmesan because it was half the price.

I was really pleased with how they came out. Super moist but with a nice brown crust and extremely flavorful. I would say I preferred the beef/pork/veal meatballs more, but not by much. They were both delicious and the recipe made enough for five servings.

I served it with a Jersey tomato salad, zucchini “noodles” and more parmigiano reggiano.

I definitely foresee this becoming a staple recipe for me. Next time I’ll finish them in some fresh tomato sauce and serve with homemade pasta. Once I learn how to do that, that is.





I figured nothing would kick off a cookbook experiment quite like a stand-by Joy of Cooking recipe. I decided to go with a classic and something I’ve always struggled with–meatballs. I’ve only attempted meatballs a handful of times and with little instruction but they always came out dry and, occasionally, inedible.

Being lucky enough to live a 10 minute walk from Philadelphia’s incredible Reading Terminal Market, I opted to shop for ingredients there. I didn’t have to start entirely from scratch, but pretty close. What was meant to be a temporary housing situation for me turned into a one year lease but I still treated my apartment like a hotel for the most part. In other words, I never really stocked my pantry.

The Terminal was surprisingly vacant for 5 p.m. and I made a bee-line for Martin’s Quality Meats. The recipe called for 100% ground beef, but I’ve always enjoyed pork/veal/beef meatballs so I decided to pick up half a pound of each of beef and pre-mixed ground. $3

Next I stopped by OK-Lee produce, the end-all of cheap fruits and veggies, for some fresh parsley. 69 cents

I picked up some peccorino cheese (substituting for parmigiano reggiano) at Downtown Cheese, then stopped by Salumeria for tomato paste. $1.50 + 3.69 = $3.19

On my way out of Reading Terminal I picked up some day-old rolls from Metropolitan Bakery to turn into bread crumbs. $2

Without counting the ingredients I had at home (wine, eggs, and all-purpose flour) my total came to $10.88.

To be continued Friday…