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Meatball Madness: Batali's Neopolitan

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I've put these meatballs off for last because it was my least favorite. I totally flubbed these.

In this recipe, from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano he calls for a filler of bread chunks soaked in water. The chunks I used were apparently too big and/or soaked for too little time, because they became much too prominent a part of each meatball.

In contrast to the breadcrumbs and semolina, which disintegrated under the meat juices, the pieces of bread never really came apart.

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These soggy bits of bread did not shred apart as much as I would have hoped, which meant that I ended up with giant chunks of bread in each meatball.

Eric tells me that a traditional recipe for veal meatballs similarly calls for chunks of bread, but has them soaked in milk and uses ricotta cheese to keep it all together. That sounds remarkably creamy and unctuous given the high collagen found in veal. I just wonder about it being flavorful enough. I suppose this is where you are sure to use the best quality ingredients and proper seasoning.

Another reason I think these meatballs weren't successful was that I stuck to beef and veal and left out pork due to the dietary restrictions of my diners that night. I suspect that the right amount of fatty pork would have improved this greatly. But then I think that about a lot of things...



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