Lometa's Meatballs

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb Hamburger (of half Italian Sausage and half hamburger for variety)
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
½ Cup Saltine Crackers
2 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes (double if fresh parsley)
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper

Mix ingredients together and form into meatballs. Fry in olive oil until brown on all sides. Scrape out drippings and along with meatballs add to Spaghetti Sauce . Simmer for 2-3 hours. If meatballs are made do not add hamburger meat to the spaghetti sauce.

See:Lometa's Spaghetti Sauce

Buono Appetito!

The original recipe was handed down from the Lamberto's, my mothers side of the family. I have changed it with few additions of my own and all measurements to taste. You may want to add oregano as the original one did not call for it.

Denigrating and goofy term for person (usu. male) who is a complete doofus, id est, can't do a single thing right.

Meatballs (Italian) Grandma Sweatheart's recipe

Use in spaghetti sauce and/or fried meatballs and after cooked in spaghetti sauce may be used for lasagna or meat sauce.


Handle gently – don’t compact tightly or as Rose would say you will have lead balls.

Form into ovals about the size of a medium egg.

Can be made to this point and refrigerated for several hours or overnight if ground beef was very fresh to start and mixture has been kept cold.

For Grandma Sauce meatballs should be fried lightly - just enough in extra virgin olive oil to hold together. Cooking will be completed in the sauce.

For fried meatballs, fry until well done in extra virgin olive oil. Serve with catsup and fresh Italian bread.

A good thing to do is make the meatballs one night, fry some for dinner and reserve the rest for making sauce the next day.

A popular meal for NetHack adventurers. Meatballs are easily created in the Dungeons of Doom by applying a stone to flesh spell on a pile of rocks. The pile of rocks itself can be found in the wake of a rock mole, or you can smash a boulder to bits with a pickaxe or a force bolt spell or a wand of striking.

True, it is possible to simply apply the spell to an entire boulder, and end up with a huge chunk of meat, but it doesn't have as much class as putting the meatballs in a large box, zapping a wand of fire (in desperate times, you can hold the meatballs and read a scroll of fire), and spearing the savoury meatballs with the tip of a dagger. Myself, I like to dice in a carrot or two, a slime mold, possibly a kelp frond, a clove of garlic, and garnish with eucalyptus leaves. Cook with 2 charges of a wand of fire (or hold the box and destroy a flaming sphere), let cool slightly, sit, get out two blessed +2 elven arrows for chopsticks, and enjoy.

Dessert is usually a cream pie, drenched in a potion of booze and seved en flambée. Hold a candy bar over the flames to trickle some chocolate frosting on top. Mmm-mmm....

Number-wise, a meatball is 5 nutrition points. Considering that you can usually eat them 10 or 20 at a time, you can stuff yourself to the gills, especially in the Gnomish Mines, for free. Those blasted shopkeepers will gouge you for 5 zorkmids a pop, but who would buy meatballs from a shopkeeper anyways?

The place I learned how to cook, well, it was the kind of apartment complex that Midwesterners move into when they can't afford the down payment on a trailer home. When my mom first showed me how to do a few things in the kitchen, then, we couldn't exactly replicate what the chefs were doing on PBS. Hell, getting all the ingredients for something in the Betty Crocker cookbook could be a stretch a lot of the time.

Anyway, there are some tricks you learn when you have to make do in the kitchen. Ways to turn stale bread soft again or make powdered milk semi-palatable. One of those tricks, stretching out your supply of hamburger by mixing it with oatmeal, I use to this day when I make spaghetti and meatballs.

What saves this from being an unconscionable, ghetto-ass thing to foist upon one's guests is that oatmeal actually makes a perfect substrate for introducing liquid to the meat. Specifically, a handful of oatmeal can soak up more than its dry weight in red wine. Mixing this wine-infused oatmeal into the meat ensures that deliciousness is distributed into every bite. Better still, the mixture contains tons of moisture, making it nearly impossible to overcook the meatballs and dry them out, while also removing any need to use a slickening agent such as eggs.

Here are the ingredients I use. All of them scale linearly with the amount of hamburger you're starting with.

1 pound hamburger -- not too lean, the cow-grease hardens your arteries, makes you strong like bull. Also, it will add good flavor to the sauce.
1 cup regular oatmeal -- not "quick oats".
1 cup strong red wine -- I use a cheap Shiraz.
2 smallish cloves garlic -- smashed and shredded.
1/3 cup hard cheese, such as Parmesan.
Salt, pepper, and torn fresh basil to taste. Add some crushed red pepper if you like "a spicy meatball" as they say.

Preparation is easy. The goal is to distribute all the ingredients evenly throughout the meat. Start by putting the ground beef in the bottom of a good-sized bowl. Then, dump the oatmeal on top of that, and pour the wine into the middle of the oats and trying to soak all of them. Some wine will fall around the sides, which is fine because it will be taken up during mixing. The rest of the ingredients should be piled on top after that, and then the whole lot of it should be turned and folded by hand until completely mixed.

To make the meatballs, grab a big handful and form it into a sphere about the size of a man's fist, or a touch smaller than a newborn's skull. Some folks prefer their meatballs to be smaller, but they are wrong. The recipe above should make three, maybe four meatballs.

For normally-sized meals, frying these up in a large skillet is the way to go. Because they're so thick, they need to be cooked a long time to ensure that they are done all the way through. I usually let them cook on three or four sides until each individual side is well done. Then, just to be sure (and to let the sauce accumulate delicious flavor), I let them simmer in tomato sauce for another twenty or thirty minutes. For higher volumes, the oven is a good choice -- 350° F for fifty minutes on a cookie sheet should do it. These might sound like brutally long cooking times for red meat, but they will stay moist and tender just fine, and one can't be too careful with hamburger meat.

Share with friends, and enjoy!

Spiced meatballs — with aubergine for good measure — in sweet-sour sauce

You might call them albondigas, almondegas, boulettes, keftedes, klopse, kofta, or polpette, but they're all pretty much the same thing: minced meat, something to extend the mixture, seasoning, and a binding agent. Yep, they're meatballs. Across the globe and through time the meatball has graced dinner tables in baked, fried, grilled, or simmered format. Simple, inexpensive, and with the advantage of being able to disguise all manner of vegetables from vegetablephobic eaters, it's hardly surprising that they have formed part of the cuisine of just about any culture you care to name.

There's a recipe for meatballs spiced with juniper in Apicius' Roman Cookery and for the average Roman without access to cooking facilities, meatballs were readily available from cauponae. Medieval cookbooks have recipes for spiced Levantine style meatballs. Legend has it that during the Spanish Inquisition pork meatballs were used to determine true Conversos from Marranos; the thinking being that anyone secretly practising Judaism would spit out the mouthful when told it was actually from a pig. During the 1950s when there was a drive to encourage Americans to eat more red meat, spaghetti and meatballs became popular. And I'd not be surprised if it transpired that some Hanoverian monarch's favourite dish was meatballs.

For me, meatballs are always lamb. Lamb is my favourite of the readily-available meats, but laying your hands on good quality, relatively inexpensive kosher lamb is not far off having the Crown Jewels in your own private viewing vault. So mostly I make do with cheaper cuts: minced meat, or breast. It's not just that I can vaguely afford to make a meal out of them, but also that it's easier to make a good dish out of them. The meat is more of a component, rather than a focus. The spicing and the flavours of this dish, therefore, lend themselves most readily to lamb. If you'd rather use another meat, I'd be inclined to alter the spices: something stronger for beef, lighter for chicken or turkey. I shan't profess to be able to offer a suggestion for pork!

This isn't the fastest meatball dish to make, but neither will it take you hours, and it certainly isn't fiddily. If you can keep yourself from scoffing it down the second the juices are running clear out of the meat, it tastes better the next day. I serve this with rice, whichever vegetables are to hand, and the inevitable glass of red wine. When it comes to wine, you won't be wanting anything too weighty as it'll just drown out the spicing. Similarly, too light a wine will be swamped by the meat. Perhaps something mediterranean to marry with the flavours? I state fig vinegar in the recipe: I happen to have some. But please, don't go scouring your local specialist food store for it. Red wine vinegar would work just fine.

What you'll be needing for three or four:


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 generous tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fig vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 generous teaspoon mustard (grain or Dijon)
  • Salt and pepper (again)
  • Splash of oil

What to do with it all

Begin with the aubergine. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and toss in the aubergine. Leave it there until soft to the touch, which'll take between 20 and 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the meat mixture. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Use your hands, don't be afraid. (But do remove any rings you might be wearing. You neither want to have to fish the rings out of the mixture nor the mixture out of the rings.) If you want to make your mixture go a bit further, now is the time to add a handful of rice, a tablespoon or two of polenta, some monster meal, or a slice of soaked, shredded bread. I don't, but that's me. Mixture thoroughly mixed? Fabulous!

The aubergine should still be cooking, so start to prepare your sauce. Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole and fry the onions and garlic for three or four minutes until glassy. Tip in the tomatoes, add the flavourings, and stir well. Set to a very gentle simmer — you don't want it boiling away — and go pay some attention to your aubergine.

You should be able to peel the aubergine with no effort at all. Do so, and then finely dice the flesh. There'll be quite a lot of liquid produced by this. Don't worry too much, but avoid getting it in the meat mixture — you don't want it going sloppy. Add the aubergine to the meat mixture, and if you can, leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

Check on the tomato sauce. Not burning? Excellent! Not boiling away? Brilliant! (The sugar content of this sauce is quite high, meaning that its burnability is, too. If you're worried that it will catch or boil away, you can either add some stock or water, or turn out the flame until you're ready to add the meatballs.)

When you're ready to make your meatballs, grab a chunk of mixture and roll it between your palms. If the mixture is on the sticky side, wet your hands. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. When you've made all your meatballs — between 15 and 20, depending on size — blast them in a hot oven for ten minutes. You don't have to do this, but I've found it helps them to keep their shape. As soon as they've suffered that, drop them into the oh-so-gently simmering sauce and allow them to finish cooking. This should take about twenty minutes. That's it. Done. Yum!

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