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.
Meatballs – Makes 1 1/2 Dozen
- 1 lb. ground veal, thawed (may substitute with grass fed beef)
- 1⁄4 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1⁄4 cup finely grated carrot
- 2 small green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. organic garlic powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground oregano
- 1⁄2 tsp. pepper
- 1⁄2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp. milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- fresh Italian parsley, chopped (garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack inside the foil lined baking sheet and coat the rack with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ground veal, ricotta, carrots, green onions, egg, parsley, salt, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and vanilla bean paste. Form mixture into meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter; set aside.
- To bread meatballs, three bowls will be needed. In a first medium bowl, add flour. In a second medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. In a third medium bowl, add bread crumbs, Romano cheese and melted butter; stir to combine.
- Dust each meatball with flour, dip in egg wash, and coat with bread crumbs. Place breaded meatballs on wire rack and cook until done, about 30 minutes.
Vodka Sauce – Yields 4 Cups
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup vodka
- 1 tbsp. dried basil leaves
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground oregano
- 1⁄4 tsp. organic garlic powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Romano
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream, warmed
- 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.
- 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.
- Add grated Romano cheese and cream; stir until thoroughly combined. Simmer for 3 minutes, or until heated through. Serve vodka sauce with meatballs.