Not Your Mama’s Meatballs- makes 24
1/2 c. bread crumbs (I usually have a bag of bread crumbs from various loafs of bread that didn’t get finished, traditionally these are made with white bread with the crust)
1/2 c. homemade almond milk (traditional these are made with regular milk)
1 1/4 c. Pecorino cheese
salt and pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack over the top.
2. In a small bowl soak the bread crumbs with the milk. In a large mixing bowl place the beef and cheese, season with a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper. Next add the soaked bread crumbs, mix all the ingredients together lightly with your hands.
3. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop out some of the meatball mixture. With your hands roll the mixture between your palms into a round ball and place them on the lined baking sheet. Continue until the bowl is empty.
4. Drizzle with a little olive oil, place the meatballs in the oven for 20-25 minutes or till browned on the edges.
My amazing grandmother Polly passed away 2 years ago and this last weekend was her birthday. Polly was a tiny BUT mighty little fire-ball of a LADY. She was fiercely independent and loved working so she could take the bus and get ‘out and about’ (she couldn’t sit still to save her life). She was the kind of grandma who made each of us think we were her favorite, I miss her beyond words.
When I called my mom to ask if it was okay to share this recipe she wanted to make sure that my great-grandma and my grandma Polly got all the credit. All the woman in my family make these Italian meatballs called “Perpets” and I think the only men who have had these meatballs are attached to one of these woman. Growing up these were always an amazing treat and you knew just by the smell of the cheese and oil what was about to happen to your taste buds. The pecorino cheese in these meatballs give them a very distinct flavor. Pecorino cheese is a sheep milk’s cheese and is a little tangier than Parmesan, they make these meatball’s what they are. Perpets are a family tradition, Polly’s mom taught her, Polly taught my mom and my mom taught my sister and me. They are a very special family treat and I am so glad my mom was okay with me sharing the recipe with all of you.
These Perpets are traditionally made with white bread and milk and fried in olive oil, this is probably why I don’t make them that often. So I decided to use my multri-grain bread crumbs and homemade almond milk, I also thought I would bake them instead of frying them. They turned out great! I served them over spaghetti squash with Pasta all Vodka sauce (minus the bacon) and garnished the dish with fresh parsley, pecorino cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Feel free to use them anyway way you want.
*All I can say on this recipe is the beef is local and grass-fed.
*I am happy that I was able to stay true to the roots of this recipe, but use healthier ingredients and a healthier method of cooking and get the same great flavor I’ll know forever.
*The only man I have made these for is my sweetie, make them for your sweetie and see what happens.