Having vegetarians over for dinner? Or just want to try an alternative to meat that is absolutely delicious?
Here you are: WALNUT MEATBALLS
A recipe that was born in Italy a century ago and is still our family favorite.
The original recipe started with, Crack the walnuts and shell them. Skip that. Buy shelled walnuts if you don’t have a tree in your back yard.
Next: Grind the walnuts in the meat grinder. Not today, use your blender or food processor to get a rough grind on them. I throw the chopped onions in the processor also.
Here’s the basic recipe. (The meatballs freeze well so we usually do not make the basic recipe, at least triple it.)
1 Cup of ground walnuts
1 Cup of bread crumbs (I like the crumbs that have Italian seasoning.)
½ Cup Grated Parmesan and/or Romano Cheese
1 Medium Onion
6 Eggs, beaten…. This is a variable. Add more if needed to make mixture the right consistency to make into balls. They’ll stick together without being firmly compacted. Roll and smooth them with wet hands.
Mix the walnuts, bread crumbs, and grated cheese. In another bowl mix the grated or ground onions and beaten eggs together, then pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until all is moist. Form into balls the size of walnuts (they will cook up larger).
Fry the balls in olive oil so that an outer crust is formed. Keep rolling them around once they start to brown.
Drop them gently in a simmering pot of spaghetti sauce for one hour.
There are variations on this recipe. Some add chopped cilantro, celery, zucchini, or garlic. Some do not grate the onions, but prefer onion bits in the texture. Our family likes the Orignal.