Tarbell's Mark's Sunday Meatballs

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  • 2 tablespoons Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 pound ground pork or pork sausage
  • 2 1/2 white onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic, whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 slice nitrate-free bacon, chopped
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup spring water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano


  1. Mix meats, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, 1 clove garlic, ancho chili powder, 1 pinch black pepper, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, bacon and 2 onions in a large bowl; form into large meatballs.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy, deep pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs; sear, then reduce heat and sauté them as you prepare the sauce.
  3. In a soup pot, sauté 1/2 onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until transparent. Add 2 cloves garlic, mushrooms, 1 pinch black pepper, soy sauce, tomatoes, 1 pinch kosher salt, balsamic vinegar, water and oregano; mix to combine. Place seared meatballs in the sauce. Reduce heat; cook uncovered 1 1/2 hours or until the liquid has reduced by half.
  4. Remove the meatballs; set aside.
  5. Using a food processor or blender, puree the sauce in batches. Return sauce and meatballs to the pot.
  6. Serve over freshly cooked pasta.

Source: Chef Mark Tarbell - Tarbell's, Phoenix, Arizona

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