Meatballs

I love pasta with meatballs! So I made some. There are meatballs in almost every country and culture across the world. They can be made with any ground meat, and in Asia, they even have a great variety of fish 'meatballs' as well! Here are just a few examples I found at www.wikipedia.com :

Meatballs across various cultures

A variety of Chinese meatballs and fishballs

A freshly made batch of Danish meatballs (frikadeller)

Indonesian bakso noodle soup

Filipino almondigas

Klopsy with potato purée from Poland

Bulgarian big meatball, tatarsko kufte
  • In Afghanistan, meatballs are used as a traditional dish with homemade soups, or are made with a tomato based sauce that may include some plum seeds to increase tartness and is served with bread or rice which is called Kofta-Chelou. Now meatballs are also grilled on top of pizza.
  • Albanian fried meatballs (qofte të fërguara) include feta cheese.
  • In Austria, fried meatballs are called Fleischlaibchen or Fleischlaberl.
  • In Belgium, meatballs are called ballekes or bouletten in Flanders, and are usually made of a mixture of beef and pork with breadcrumbs and sliced onions. Many other variations exist, including different kinds of meat and chopped vegetables.
  • Chinese meatballs (specifically, a dish common in Shanghai cuisine) are most often made of pork and are usually steamed or boiled, either as-is, or with the addition of soy sauce. Large meatballs, called lion's heads, can range in size from about 5 cm to 10 cm in diameter. Smaller varieties, called pork balls, are used in soups. A Cantonese variant, the steamed meatball, is made of beef and served as a dim sum dish. A similar dish is called the beef ball, and the fish ball is yet another variety made from pulverized fish. In northern China, irregular balls made from minced meat and flour are often deep-fried and eaten for special occasions.
  • Danish meatballs are known as frikadeller and are typically fried, and they are usually made out of ground pork, veal, onions, eggs, salt and pepper; these are formed into balls and flattened somewhat, so they are pan ready.
  • In Finnish cuisine, meatballs (lihapullat) are made with ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork, or even with ground reindeer meat, mixed with breadcrumbs soaked in milk and finely chopped onions. They are seasoned with white pepper and salt. Meatballs are traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes (or mashed potatoes), lingonberry jam, and sometimes pickled cucumber.
  • In Germany, meatballs are mostly known as Frikadelle, Fleischpflanzerl, Bulette or Klopse. A very famous variant of meatballs are Königsberger Klopse, which contain anchovy or salted herring, and are eaten with caper sauce.
  • In Greece, fried meatballs are called keftédes (κεφτέδες) and usually include within the mix bread, onions and mint leaf. Stewed meatballs are called yuvarlákia (γιουβαρλάκια: from the Turkish word yuvarlak, which means "round") and usually include small quantities of rice.
  • In Hungary, as well as territories from neighbouring countries where Hungarian is spoken, a meatball is called fasirt or fasirozott ([ˈfɒʃirt] or [ˈfɒʃirozotː]) probably coming from Austrian German faschierte Laibchen. Also the májgombóc (liver dumpling) is popular in soups.
  • In Iran, several types of meatballs are consumed. If they are cooked in a stew, they are called kufteh. If they are fried (typically small meatballs), they are called kal-e gonjeshki (literally "sparrow's head"). Both types are consumed with either bread or rice. Typically, herbs are added, and for kufteh, usually the meatball is filled with hard boiled eggs or dried fruits. There are several (at least 10) types; the most famous is "kufteh tabrizi", traditionally from Tabriz in northwestern Iran.
  • In Indonesia, meatballs are called bakso which are usually served in a bowl, like soup, with noodles, beancurd (tofu), egg, siomay/steamed meat dumpling, and crispy wonton. They have a consistent homogeneous texture. Bakso can be found all across Indonesia, but the most popular are bakso Solo and bakso Malang (named for the city from which it originates). In Malang, bakso bakar (roasted bakso) is also popular. As most Indonesians are Muslim, generally it is made from beef or is mixed with chicken.
  • In Italy, meatballs are known as polpette, and are generally eaten as a main course or in a soup. The main ingredients of an Italian meatball are: beef and or pork and sometimes turkey, salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, olive oil, Romano cheese, eggs, bread crumbs and parsley, mixed and rolled by hand to a golf ball size. In the Abruzzo region of Italy, especially in the Province of Teramo, the meatballs are typically the size of marbles, and are called polpettine.
  • The Japanese hamburger steak, hanbāgu, is typically made of ground beef, milk-soaked panko (bread crumbs) and minced, sauteed onions. They are typically eaten with a sauce made from ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Chinese style meatballs are also popular.
  • In the Netherlands, meatballs are called gehaktbal, and are often served with boiled potatoes and vegetables. This combination has been the most common dish in Dutch households for many years.
  • In Norway, meatballs are called kjøttkaker ("meat cakes") and resemble Danish frikadeller, but they are usually made from ground beef. This dish is traditionally served with boiled potatoes, gravy, lingonberry jam and/or stewed green peas. Some people also like to add fried/caramelized onion on the side.
  • In the Philippines, meatballs are called almondigas or bola-bola, and usually served in a soup with rice vermicelli called misua, toasted garlic, squash and pork cracklings.
  • In Poland, they are called pulpety or klopsy (singular pulpet; klops), and pulpeciki ("little pulpety"), and are usually served cooked with a variety of sauces (such as tomato or a kind of gravy thickened with flour, as well as forest mushroom sauce) with potatoes, rice or all sorts of kasza. Pulpety or klopsy are usually made from seasoned ground meat with onion and mixed with eggs and either breadcrumbs or wheat rolls soaked in milk or water. Fried pulpety are larger than typical cooked ones. They can be round or flat in shape. The latter, in many countries, would be considered a cross between a meatball and a hamburger. The fried variety is called mielony (short for kotlet mielony – literally "minced cutlet"), and its mass-produced version (as well as the one served in bars, etc.) is a subject of many jokes and urban legends explaining what is used to produce it.
  • In Portugal and Brazil, meatballs are called almôndegas. These are usually served with tomato sauce and pasta.
  • The chiftele and pârjoale from Romania are usually deep fried and made with pork or poultry, moistened bread and garlic. Chiftele are smaller and contain more meat. A crude, plain meat variant is used for sour soup, making ciorbă de perişoare.
  • In Spain and Latin America, meatballs are called albóndigas, derived from the Arabic al-bunduq (meaning hazelnut, or, by extension, a small round object). Albóndigas are thought to have originated as a Berber or Arab dish imported to Spain during the period of Muslim rule. Spanish albóndigas can be served as an appetizer or main course, often in a tomato sauce, while Mexican albóndigas are commonly served in a soup with a light broth and vegetables.

  • In Sweden, köttbullar (meatballs) are made with ground beef or a mix of ground beef, pork and sometimes veal, mixed with breadcrumbs soaked in milk and finely chopped (fried) onions, some broth, and, occasionally, cream. They are seasoned with white pepper or allspice and salt.[1][2] Swedish meatballs are traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes, lingonberry jam, and sometimes fresh pickled cucumber.[1] Traditionally, they are small, measuring one inch in diameter.[3] In the United States, there are a number of variations, based on the assimilation of Swedes in the Midwest.
  • In the United Kingdom, faggots are a type of spicy pork meatball. A faggot is traditionally made from pig heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring, and sometimes breadcrumbs.
  • In the United States, meatballs are commonly served with spaghetti as in spaghetti and meatballs, a dish in Italian American cuisine, assimilated from Italian immigrants coming from southern Italy in the early 19th century. Over time, the dishes in both cultures have drifted apart in similarity. In the southern United States, venison or beef is also often mixed with spices and baked into large meatballs that can be served as an entree. Another variation, called "porcupine meatballs" are basic meatballs often with rice in them.
  • In Vietnam, meatballs (thịt viên) can be used as an ingredient in phở. It is also common to cook meatballs in tomato sauce, and finely chopped spring onion and peppers are added before serving. In bún chả (a specialty Vietnamese rice noodle), meatballs are grilled to be chả and served with bún (rice noodles) and dipping sauce (based on fish sauce seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, and chili).
I made the old fashioned American variety with red sauce and linguine. Here is the recipe:

American Meatballs
1 small onion-diced
2 clove garlic crushes
1 Tbs. each FRESH minced oregano and basil
1 cup plain breadcrumbs (I save the 'heels' of my bread and make my own in the food processor)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
2 Lbs. very good quality ground beef, pork, or lamb (or a combination thereof)
In a little olive oil, or bacon fat if you have it, over medium heat saute the onions until they are soft and translucent. They should just start to turn golden. Add the garlic and saute a minute or two more.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool to a workable temperature. In a very large bowl place all the ingredients.

Work into a mushy paste with your hands. Allow the mixture to sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set up. Then roll into desired size ball. I make mine 2.5 ounces but you can make them larger or smaller, depending upon your personal taste.

In a large skillet with about 1/4 inch of olive oil covering the bottom, saute the meatballs over medium-high until they turn brown, using two forks on either side of the balls flip them to a new side and continue cooking and flipping until all your meatballs are uniformly browned.

Remove them with a slotted spoon to your favorite marinara sauce (red sauce), and allow to simmer over low heat for about an hour. Serve over your favorite pasta.
Consente di mangiare, BABY!!!
Tomatoes Tomatoes
What's New and Beneficial About Tomatoes-for the full story see:
  • Did you know that tomatoes do not have to be a deep red color to be an outstanding source of lycopene? Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that has long been associated with the deep red color of many tomatoes. A small preliminary study on healthy men and women has shown that the lycopene from orange- and tangerine-colored tomatoes may actually be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. That's because the lycopene in deep red tomatoes is mostly trans-lycopene, and the lycopene in orange/tangerine tomatoes is mostly tetra-cis-lycopene. In a recent study, this tetra-cis form of lycopene turned out to be more efficiently absorbed by the study participants. While more research is needed in this area, we're encouraged to find that tomatoes may not have to be deep red in order for us to get great lycopene-related benefits.
  • Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene. Researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. A study was designed in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from the diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks, to see what effect lycopene restriction would have on bone health. At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue. The study investigators concluded that removal of lycopene-containing foods (including tomatoes) from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis. They also argued for the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet. We don't always think about antioxidant protection as being important for bone health, but it is, and tomato lycopene (and other tomato antioxidants) may have a special role to play in this area.
  • There are literally hundreds of different tomato varieties. We usually choose our favorite varieties by some combination of flavor, texture, and appearance. But a recent study has shown that we may also want to include antioxidant capacity as a factor when we are choosing among tomato varieties. Surprisingly, researchers who compared conventionally grown versus organically grown tomatoes found that growing method (conventional versus organic) made less of an overall difference than variety of tomato. While all tomatoes showed good antioxidant capacity, and while the differences were not huge, the following four varieties of tomatoes turned out to have a higher average antioxidant capacity regardless of whether they were grown conventionally or organically: New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, and First Lady. It's only one study, of course, and we're definitely not ready to recommend these four varieties at the exclusion of all others. But these findings are fascinating to us, and they suggest that specific types of nutrient benefits may be provided by specific varieties of tomatoes. Also, if you're seeking good antioxidant protection and you're in the grocery standing in front of a New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, or First Lady tomato, you would probably be well-served to place it in your shopping cart.
  • Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood - a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. (In a recent South American study of 26 vegetables, tomatoes and green beans came out best in their anti-aggregation properties.) But only recently are researchers beginning to identify some of the more unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help provide us with these heart-protective benefits. One of these phytonutrients is a glycoside called esculeoside A; another is flavonoid called chalconaringenin; and yet another is a fatty-acid type molecule called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. As our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we are likely to learn more about the unique role played by tomatoes in support of heart health. Tomatoes are also likely to rise further and further toward the top of the list as heart healthy foods.

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