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Video: Celebrate the holidays with Italian meatball salad

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    >>> it's time for today's kitchen and a little something for your thanksgiving table. meatballs and gravy.

    >> a lot of families like to celebrate with a meal that reminds them of their heritage.

    >> like pete. it's the owner of a cafe in fort lauderdale . he'll show us thanksgiving italian style.

    >> welcome. i'm very honored to be next to you two beautiful ladies.

    >> thank you.

    >> have some meatballs.

    >> i want to make an italian thanksgiving. the italian americans that i know, we didn't have turkey until late, late, late at night , 11:00 .

    >> okay.

    >> how we had it, we had our soup, then our macaroni, meat, salad. the time for turkey, you were too full.

    >> all right. what's in your meat mixture?

    >> careful.

    >> veal, beef and pork. you have to have three kinds of meat.

    >> why?

    >> it gives it flavor. the pork gives it flavor.

    >> all right.

    >> mix all that up.

    >> you have two eggs in there.

    >> two eggs, ground meat . this is stale bread . take a little bit. i want you to moisten that up together for me please.

    >> get it.

    >> what i want you to do, take some cheese, put it inside.

    >> yeah, baby?

    >> the whole thing?

    >> fresh cloves.

    >> oh, no.

    >> no, no, no.

    >> you threw in the meatballs.

    >> you're in trouble. you're in trouble.

    >> just watch. just watch. you get this. go like this. squeeze all the water out. come on. come on. we've got to go. let's go! let's go!

    >> she likes getting yelled at.

    >> the bread crumbs .

    >> are you sure?

    >> you have that.

    >> what do you want us to do?

    >> i've got it out.

    >> this or no? no or yes?

    >> yes.

    >> the whole thing?

    >> no, a little bit. parsley.

    >> do you cook at home?

    >> a little. i make one thing.

    >> little bit of salt.

    >> you know that that doesn't have an s, right? had to get that in.

    >> come on.

    >> wait, wait, wait. granulated --

    >> we have a minute.

    >> mix it up. mix it up.

    >> take this.

    >> take that.

    >> take that.

    >> no, roll it. roll it.

    >> roll it!

    >> go like this.

    >> do i put it in?

    >> you put it in here. fry it.

    >> in the hot grease?

    >> yes, fried meatballs .

    >> got to have them.

    >> listen, i made yous a nice salad.

    >> south philly salad.

    >> come around the back and show us all your dishes.

    >> come on.

    >> are you ready?

    >> oh, that salad is delicious.

    >> fantastic.

    >> soups. you have your macaroni. rigatoni.

    >> sausages.

    >> you made the sauce for it.

    >> thank you, sweetheart. thank you, thank you.

    >> thank you.

    >> all righty.

TODAY recipes
updated 11/13/2013 5:20:33 PM ET 2013-11-13T22:20:33

Recipe: Meatballs with a side salad

  • 1 pound veal
  • 1 pound beef
  • 1 pound pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • Black pepper and kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup Italian-style Progresso breadcrumbs
  • 1 loaf of day-old Italian bread
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • Vegetable oil

1. Mix the ground meat together in a bowl.

2. Crack two large eggs into another bowl and whisk them together. Pour the eggs into the meat mixture.

3. Add the pepper, salt, garlic powder, parsley, cheese and bread crumbs.

4. Get a loaf of day-old Italian bread and break it into small pieces. Soak the bread in warm water until it's soft, and then squeeze all the water out. Add the bread to the meat mixture and mix everything together.

5. Roll the meat into 4 ounce balls, or whatever size you like. One of my grandmothers made hers big, the other one made hers small.

6. Fill a deep pan half-way with vegetable oil and make sure the oil is hot before adding the meatballs. To test the oil, take a small piece of meat from the meatball and throw it in the oil. If the meat begins to fry, it's ready to go.

7. Working in batches, brown the meatballs for three minutes on one side and then three minutes on the other side. Remove and serve with a salad of Romaine, cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, imported Italian wine vinegar, EVOO and ricotta.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Sunday pork gravy

  • 5 pounds pork butt, cut into half-inch pieces
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 piece of fat back, cut into quarter-inch pieces
  • 6 pigs
  • 3 pieces of pork skin
  • 15 cloves fresh garlic
  • 8 to 10 cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil, kosher salt and crushed black pepper to taste

1. Add a quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil to a pot or Dutch oven. Tip: If you get your pan extremely hot and then add the cold oil, your food will never stick.

2. When the oil is hot (not smoking) add the pork butt pieces and let them begin to brown. Season them with kosher salt, crushed black pepper and granulated garlic. Brown on all sides, which takes about 10 minutes.

3. Remove the pork butt and repeat the same steps with the sausage and pigs' feet. Add the pork skin.

4. After the pork skin has browned, remove it from the pan, then add the fat back pieces to the pan and brown them as well. Add 15 cloves of smashed garlic. Let the garlic brown.

5. Put the tomatoes in a clean bowl and crush by hand. Then add the tomatoes to the fat back and garlic and bring the sauce to a rapid boil. Season with kosher salt and crushed black pepper and lower the heat to a slow simmer.

6. Add all of the cooked meat and simmer for about 2 hours (not all day). Serve over rigatoni.

Recipe: Butter cookie

  • 1/2 pound of butter
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla, flour and baking powder. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press dough out onto ungreased, chilled cookie sheets. Use your favorite molds to cut out the cookies.

3. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden color. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks before serving.

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