Meatballs with Rice in Tomato Sauce

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The basis for this meatball recipe is how my mom prepares them: the meat is combined with rice instead of other fillers like breadcrumbs, and the meatballs are stewed in low liquid for 45 minutes to one hour.


The problem was I had been cooking French-inspired meals for a few days before I made this dish. With several different recipes beginning in the same way (sauté shallots in butter, add wine and herbs ...), I became quite accustomed to it and these steps somehow found their way into the sauce here. I found that the meatballs were much improved by this method of preparing the sauce.

Meatballs with Rice in Tomato Sauce
(Makes about 12 meatballs)

You will need:

For the meatballs:
1 cup uncooked white rice
Dash of salt
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground chicken
1 shallot (or 1/2 small onion), chopped
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash of paprika

For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot (or 1/2 small onion), chopped
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
6 oz can tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Fill a medium pot with 1 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Add a dash of salt and the uncooked rice. Cover and let simmer on low heat until the water has evaporated and the rice is almost done, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-20 minutes.
2. To make the meatballs, combine ground turkey, chicken, shallot, egg, and the cooked rice in a large bowl. Add salt, oregano, pepper and paprika. Mix well. Form into large meatballs (about 2 1/2 inch in diameter); cover and refrigerate.
3. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pot or a tall-sided pan. Add the shallot and cook 2-3 minutes until softened. Add parsley and cook for 30 seconds more. Then add the white wine and quickly bring to a simmer; cook the onions in wine, stirring, for about one minute. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, and mix in the tomato paste. Wait until the sauce starts to simmer again, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully place the meatballs into the sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and let simmer, spooning the sauce over the meatballs occasionally, for 40-45 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve in a shallow bowl with the sauce.


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