Pork, Pesto, and Spinach Meatballs with Romesco Sauce
December 3, 2012 • Appetizers,
Well, it was inevitable that we’d slip into December far more quickly than I was prepared for this year. I’ve had so much on my plate, and between personal and family obligations, a trip to New York for Thanksgiving, and the general rush of parties this time of year brings to my catering business, I’ve barely had time to think about the holidays. But I have a secret to holiday entertaining: lots of easy appetizers that can be made quickly and kept in the freezer.Meatballs have to be one of the easiest things to make and serve as an appetizer. You can use just about any meat you like – chicken, beef, pork, lamb and turkey all work great. You can vary them greatly by adjusting what you use to season them. And there are any number of sauces that can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for when you need to pair them with the meatballs. The only trick to making tender meatballs is not to overwork the meat and seasonings, and I think that’s accomplished best by mixing things with a fork instead of squeezing together with your hands.Then if you use an ice cream scoop to portion them out, and just barely roll them together in your hand, you’ll end up with uniform sized and tender little morsels of meatballs. If you make them bite size like these, they cook in only 15-20 minutes and can be served with toothpicks for dipping.Although I used pork for these, they would work well with just about any other meat. And while I selected Romesco sauce to pair with them, a simple marinara would also work. Here’s to the entertaining season!
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- ½ cup grated ParmigianoReggiano cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ to 1 cup chopped cooked spinach
- 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ to 1 cup bread crumbs
- Romesco Sauce, for dipping
- Combine pork, onion, and cheese with a fork, then use a fork to stir in the eggs, spinach, pesto, salt and pepper so that the ingredients are evenly mixed. Add enough bread crumbs so that the meat barely holds together and stir in with the fork.
- Use a small ice cream scoop to portion meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat. Bake at 350 degrees until cooked through and browned, about 15-20 minutes. Drain off fat and drain meatballs on paper towels briefly before serving with Romesco Sauce for dipping.
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