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This up-scale veal meatball recipe provided by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is baked to perfection and topped with a smooth, yet flavorful Vodka sauce, leaving the most critical of guests wanting more. And, don’t toss the leftover Vodka sauce; it pairs deliciously well with other family favorites, such as pasta.

Yield: serves 6 people

Ingredients

Meatballs – Makes 1 1/2 Dozen

  • 1 lb. ground veal, thawed (may substitute with grass fed beef)
  • 14 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 14 cup finely grated carrot
  • 2 small green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 tsp. organic garlic powder
  • 12 tsp. ground oregano
  • 12 tsp. pepper
  • 12 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 12 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 1 12 cups plain panko bread crumbs
  • 12 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • fresh Italian parsley, chopped (garnish)

Vodka Sauce – Yields 4 Cups

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 12 cup vodka
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1 14 tsp. salt
  • 12 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 14 tsp. ground oregano
  • 14 tsp. organic garlic powder
  • 14 tsp. pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 14 cup freshly grated Romano
  • 12 cup whipping cream, warmed

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan, and heat over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add vodka, basil, salt, vanilla extract, oregano, garlic powder and pepper; cook until reduced by half.
  2. Place whole tomatoes in container of food processor or electric blender. Add reduced sauce mixture; cover and process or blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a large saucepan and place over medium heat.
  3. Add grated Romano cheese and cream; stir until thoroughly combined. Simmer for 3 minutes, or until heated through. Serve vodka sauce with meatballs.

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