Carnival is about to come. It is one of the most cheerful and joyful celebrations in countries with a Christian tradition like ours. It is in fact characterized by masked parades that animate the streets of the cities of the whole peninsula. Even at the culinary level there are numerous traditions related to carnival. Today we talk about meatballs, a typical dish of the cuisine associated with this holiday especially in Calabria. Meatballs are one of the most “versatile” dishes of Italian cuisine, they can be made in countless ways. Meatballs, made with simple ingredients, enhance the tradition of country cuisine.
Typical of the meal on Shrove Tuesday, in our recipe they are made with pork meat. Etymologically the word carnival would derive from the Latin carnem levare (other hypotheses also exist), that is to eliminate the meat. Hence, they should be eaten on the last feast before the beginning of the period of abstinence and fasting for Lent. For this reason, these delicious meatballs cannot be missing from the menu of Shrove Tuesday.
The recipe for meatballs for Carnival
Let’s see how to prepare them. The ingredients to make thirty meatballs the size of a billiard ball are:
– 1 kg of minced pork, better if not too lean
– 200 gr. of fresh sausage
– 500 gr. stale bread soaked in water and squeezed
– 5 whole eggs
– 200 gr. of grated pecorino
– a clove of minced garlic
– a sprig of chopped parsley
Before meatballs we prepare the sauce in which we will cook them. We chop a red Tropea onion and a clove of garlic and sauté it.
We add a little chilli to flavor it but make it spicy and then abundant tomato sauce. During cooking we also add some basil leaves and water from time to time in order to keep the sauce quite liquid.
To make meatballs, istead, we gather all the ingredients in a fairly large container and knead it.
The dough should be soft and compact. At this point we form the balls of the desired size, we choose the size of a billiard ball. Once meatballs are ready we can proceed in different ways. Before passing them in the sauce we can fry them in abundant boiling oil or cook them in the oven.
But we prefere to cook them directly in the tomato sauce on a very low heat, for this, the sauce must be quite liquid. The meatballs will thus remain extremely soft. The cooking must last at least forty minutes, it will vary according to the size of the meatballs. Once cooked we serve hot and with plenty of sauce.
Extra sauce is perfect for seasoning pasta.