The ever-popular meatball is called polpetti in Italy.
"In Italy, they use shank meat that is a little stringy but rich in flavor. It becomes fluffy by mixing with bread and egg," says chef Kuniaki Arima, who introduces this typical example of Italian home cooking in vinegar-flavored tomato sauce.
Arima added a twist by choosing miso and powdered cheese to add flavor to the meat mixture instead of stir-fried onion as Italians do. Serves two.
200 grams ground lean beef (akami)
1 egg yolk
25 grams hard bread or breadcrumb
2 Tbsp milk, some water, 2 tsp miso, 2 tsp powdered cheese, bit of nutmeg
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup canned tomato
2 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 cup stock (chicken or pork with less salt)
Rosemary, salt, pepper
Tear bread and immerse in milk and water. Squeeze them out. Place ground beef, egg yolk, miso, powdered cheese, nutmeg and bread in bowl and mix with hands until sticky.
Divide meat mixture into six equal parts, form balls with hands powdered with flour. Lightly slam on other hand to let out air. Line them up in flat container and place in fridge or freezer until next step.
Roughly chop up eggplant. Mash up tomato somewhat with juice.
Heat olive oil in small pot and cook eggplants over medium heat. Remove once aroma rises and they turn brown.
Turn off stove, add vinegar. Turn on stove and boil down to a quarter. Add tomato and stock and bring to a boil. When the sauce takes on a glaze, reduce heat and gently immerse meatballs. Add Rosemary and return eggplant where there is space. Simmer for about 15 minutes without lid.
Taste sauce, add salt and pepper if necessary.
* * *
From The Asahi Shimbun's Kashikoi Okazu column
- « Prev
- Next »