4 slices bread (2 packed cups’ worth)
2 pounds ground beef or you can use a mix of pork, veal. and beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
15 turns white pepper
4 large eggs
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce
1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Put the fresh bread in a bowl, cover it with water, and let it soak for a minute or so. Pour off the water and wring out the bread, then crumble and tear it into tiny pieces.
2. Combine the bread with all the remaining ingredients except the tomato sauce in a medium mixing bowl, adding them in the order they are listed. Add the dried bread crumbs last to adjust for wetness: the mixture should be moist wet, not sloppy wet.
3. Using a small scoop, scoop and level dropping the meatball evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The meatballs will be firm but still juicy and gently yielding when they’re cooked through. (At this point, you can cool the meatballs and hold them in the refrigerator for as long as a couple of days or freeze them for the future.
4. Meanwhile, heat the 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the meatballs comfortably.
5. Place the meatballs into the pan of sauce and nudge the heat up ever so slightly. Simmer the meatballs for half an hour or so (this isn’t one of those cases where longer is better) so they can soak up some sauce. Keep them there until it’s time to eat.
Shrimp (size at your discretion), peeled (tails left on) and deveined
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup basil leaves (There are numerous varieties of this spicy, aromatic herb, but sweet basil and bush basil are the most common. It is used mostly in dishes that contain tomatoes, and in salads, soups and on pizzas. Freshly chopped basil should be used whenever possible, as dried basil makes a poor substitute)
3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (These devilishly hot flakes are used in traditional dishes like spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino and are found on almost every Italian table alongside the salt and pepper.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup pignoli or walnuts 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce for dipping
In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, Parmigiano-Reggiano and pignoli/walnuts. Process until the mixture is well blended. Reserve two tablespoons of the pesto in a bowl large enough to hold all of the shrimp and set aside. Pour the remaining pesto over the shrimp and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to marinate.
If a grill is available all the better. If not just use a cast iron pan and cook shrimp until firm to the touch but do not overcook or they will be rubbery!
Layer a bowl of penne with 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce, a spoon of pesto* and topped with a spoon of ricotta cheese drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
1 cup of chopped fresh Italian Parsley
1 ½ cup chopped fresh Basil
½ cup of grated parmagiana cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of toasted pignoli nuts or toasted walnuts
1 large clove of garlic
¼ tsp salt
½ boiled potato (mashed) yellow potato is the creamiest choice of potato
Blend all together in food processor/ blender.