mafaldine and meatballs

The Second Civil War rages on around us, but we’re holding our own. We’re two miles from Valley Forge and would be joining the encampment, there, except the cabins and tents aren’t air conditioned. Valley Forge in the winter is one thing, but in the summer?!? The heat and humidity is frizzing hair everywhere. We saw a supply party heading down the road to CVS to try and get some hair conditioner. Hopefully they will have Philip B Oud Royal Conditioner at minimum. I’m sure they won’t have any Frederek Fekkai. If the hair gods are willing they won’t have to cross the street to the Rite Aid and get Suave or VO5.

So, as we waited, I made dinner…It’s July 4th. We’re supposed to be eating All-American foods, like German Frankfurts and Hamburgs… Mexican Chips and Salsa… and then setting off Chinese Fireworks… We’re bucking tradition and going Italian in honor of the Italians who fought in the first Civil War, as well as remembering Pasquale Paoli. We live just a couple of miles from the town of Paoli that is named for him – and the huge battle that was fought there in 1777.

Lots of history around here.

I had seen a recipe for meatballs – polpette – on La Cucina Italiana and decided I need to try something new. It called for pistachios as well as rolling the meatballs in pistachios before cooking. I like pistachios, so…

I started to play. It was a chicken meatball recipe, so I switched things out a bit. It was a pretty simple recipe to begin with.

Polpette with Pistachios

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, divided
  • 4 oz pistachios
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • salt and pepper

Finely chop pistachios in food processor. Set aside. Finely chop onion, garlic, and cheese in food processor. Add eggs and mix well.

Add half the pistachios, 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, and the onion/egg mixture to the ground beef. Mix well, adding salt and pepper, as desired. Use a small scoop and form into balls,

Mix reserved breadcrumbs with reserved pistachios and roll the balls in the mixture.

Brown in a skillet over medium-high heat and then finish in a hot oven – about 400°F – for about 15 minutes.

Serve with your favorite sauce over your favorite pasta. We used mafaldine, tonight, topped with lots of pecorino romano.

These are really good. They’re just nutty enough without being overpowering. There are really no other herbs or spices going into them, so you get to taste all of the flavors.

I froze a bunch of them for another day.

Hopefully the Second Civil War will be over quickly and we won’t lose electricity. There’s nothing worse than losing the freezer and losing cable. Fortunately, we’re on unlimited data plans so we’ll survive as long as the batteries hold out. And we have propane for cooking. We can feed the neighborhood.

War is hell.