“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Is there anything more comforting then a big bowl of meatballs covered in delicious gravy? I think not. For me, one of my favorite go to meals is spaghetti and meatballs, I know it’s very simple, but that’s why I love it so much.

Meatballs are pretty much exactly what they sound like. Balls of meat. Okay, okay, it’s a little more complex than that. They are made from ground meat, usually with some sort of bread crumbs or flour, egg and spices. Even though most people initially think Italian when they think of meatballs, something that I have always loved is that every culture has their own take on this classic delicious treat. 

Chinese meatballs are sometimes made with pork and steamed, in Germany, there are a famous version of meatballs called Konigsberger Klopse which contain anchovy or salted herring and when we think of Swedish food, you are automatically think of the Swedish Meatball covered in all of that delightful cream sauce. There are many other takes on the meatball, but if I told you all of them, well, then I could never get to my own, which is obviously Italian. Another fun little piece of information is that the ancient Roman cookbook, Apicius, contained many meatball type recipes. This meatball is a classic family recipe from my mother, but I have altered it to make it gluten free.

These are just delicious. I hate a very soft meatball, but I also hate a hard one, these are a perfect combination. Not too hard, not too soft. Goldilocks would love them!! (you get it, right?) I make them in my favorite classic tomato sauce that I have posted before, you just can’t go wrong. Many meatballs are made with a combination of pork, beef or veal, but I prefer to keep mine strictly beef.  Enjoy!!

Gluten Free Meatballs

1 ½ pounds of ground beef
½ cup of grated parmigiana
1 egg
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ cup of almond flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, parmigiana, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, red pepper and almond flour until thoroughly mixed. I like to use my hands, it just works best.

Line a baking sheet with oiled tin foil or parchment paper and shape your meatballs. Make them whatever you size you like and line them up on your pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until nice and golden. Serve with my classic signature tomato gravy.

Classic Tomato Gravy

6 cloves of garlic (or as much as you like)
15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
Basil (finely chopped)
Crushed Italian herbs

Coarsely chop your garlic and add to a small pot over medium heat, cook until soft. Add tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and crush Italian herbs. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve yourself some meatballs and a large ladle full of tomato gravy directly over them. Buon Appetito!! 


  1. This sounds great - you're so right, meatballs are really comforting and perfect for the autumn / winter months. thanks for the idea! saritaagerman.blogspot.it

  2. Two nice looking recipes. I love making meatballs. Something tranquil about squishing all that meat into little balls.