Handmade Pasta & Meatballs with Sabor de Salsita

 

I am fortunate to be inspired by good people, good food, a wonderfully eccentric family, and a passion for cooking. I am happy to share these recipes with you and hope that you are enjoying them wherever you may be. 

 

This weekend I will be making Tagliatelle from scratch, a simple meatball recipe and a pasta sauce with a base of my salsa- Sabor de Salsita. My guest chef will be Renata Lira, a dear friend, chef, and food writer from Mexico City.

 

FRESH PASTA 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • some (splashes) water if it’s too dry 

INSTRUCTIONS

4 servings. You can do this in a bowl or on a wooden butcher block. Measure flour- in a bowl mix eggs & yolks. 

Measure flour and put into bowl (or flat surface) - make a well in the flour and pour in eggs. Mix with a fork, as though scrambling eggs, incorporating the flour bit by bit. When flour is too stiff to mix, finish with your hands. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly, if it's very dry add a few drops of water. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap, let rest at LEAST one hour before rolling. 

 

Roll out by hand on a lightly floured board or use a machine.

If using a machine- roll pasta through the largest setting, fold into thirds, and pass through the machine again. Repeat two more times, then roll decreasing the setting on the machine one notch at a time, until the pasta is the desired thickness. Roll pasta through appropriate cutter or loosely roll up a sheet crosswise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strands, unfurl and toss in some flour. 

 

Cook pasta in well salted water. (5-6 minutes but test your pasta to make sure its done). There are a few strategies for combining pasta with sauce. You can put the drained pasta directly into the sauce and toss. You can also toss the noodles with some butter or oil and cheese, a little sauce, and then plate them with more sauce and your meatballs. 

 

SALSITA TOMATO SAUCE

  • 1 jar Sabor de Salsita Salsa- Corazon for a light tomato flavor, Morita for a smoky depth, Arbol for a little kick
  • 1 small can fire roasted who tomatoes (I always use whole because they're less processed and I cut them myself)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Really good olive oil 
  • S & P
  • 1 bay leaf

 Heat up olive oil, sauté onions until translucent, add in garlic cooking until fragrant- a few minutes,add in your bay leaf, your jar of salsa and can of tomatoes, cook for around 15 minutes- for a smoother sauce, pass through a food mill. If you're enjoying a glass of red wine- you could pour some of that in too. 

MEATBALLS

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 lb 
  • S & P
  • 1 cup torn up piece of old bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and pounded to a paste with salt
  • 1 T Chopped fresh oregano (1 t dried)
  • 1 T Fresh Parsley 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese 

Pre-heat oven to 450 if cooking in the oven.

In a small bowl combine your bread and milk. Set aside. The bread will soak up the milk, adding flavor and moisture. 

Using a box grater, grate your onion into a large bowl. Add the rest of your ingredients into the bowl. Meat, pasted garlic, herbs, milk soaked bread- squeezing some of the liquid out, egg, parm- combine thoroughly. 

To test your meatball- fry a little meatball in a small skillet and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed. The mixture will be soft. 

Gently form the meatballs into Ping-Pong sized balls by hand. Bake at 450 degrees for 6 minutes or until cooked through. You can fry them on the stovetop in a little oil in a cast iron pan too, turning them occasionally for oven cooking. 

 

~You can substitute turkey, chicken for beef. Substitute any herbs for the herbs listed. Substitute cold, cooked rice or potato for the bread. 

 

Serve your pasta hot, tossed with Salsita sauce, and topped with meatballs. Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, cracked pepper,   and a nice salad of radicchio or arugula pairs well with this dish.