Meatballs Arrabbiata

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meatballs arrabbiata

Fusion Alert! I like messing around with different recipes I have on the site, and figuring out other things that would go well together. This one is a combination of my Caramelized Onion Meatballs, with an arrabbiata sauce from my pasta all’arrabbiata. Thus I shall call these meatballs arrabbiata. Ok, I know I didn’t invent this combination as its just meatballs and sauce, but I do have my tweaks.

Ever since first trying it out, I’ve become a huge fan of adding caramelized onions to the meatballs, instead of regular minced or grated onions. I know it is a lot more work, but it adds so much more complexity of flavor, and really gives it a unique twist. I probably won’t do it for all my meatballs, like the mini ones I use for my meatballs in adjika sauce, but if I have the time I don’t mind caramelizing the onions.

Meatballs Arrabbiata Ingredients

Caramelized Onion Meatballs

400 grams Pork; minced.

150 grams Caramelized Onions; roughly 8-10 yellow onions worth.

100 grams Breadcrumbs. I used German Style Paniermehl since it’s my favorite to use with meatballs, but you can use whatever breadcrumbs you prefer.

3 cloves Garlic; minced

1 tbsp Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Red Chili Flakes

1 large Egg

Salt; to taste

Arribbiata Sauce

200 grams San Marzano Tomatoes; chopped. If you can’t find San Marzanos, try to find another type of plum tomato, either fresh or canned.

3 cloves Garlic; minced. More or less depending on your preference

2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes. If this is too spicy for you, you can always reduce the amount. They will get stronger and more fragrant when you cook them in the oil. This is pretty much the most important ingredient in pasta all’arrabbiata but you don’t want to make it so spicy you can’t enjoy it.

1-2 tbsp Olive Oil

Meatballs Arrabbiata Instructions

1. This recipe assumes you’ve already made or bought caramelized onions, but if you haven’t, I used 10 medium yellow onions for this recipe, which resulted in about 150 grams of caramelized onions. I cook them extremely slowly in my dutch oven on the lowest flame my burner has. They are dressed with a little olive oil and 60 ml of water and allowed to sweat for as long as possible. I mix them up every 15 minutes or so until they are about 80% reduced, then I watch them carefully stirring often so they do not burn until they are reduced to 10% from starting volume. You can see my full guide to caramelizing onions here.

2. In a bowl add the pork, caramelized onions, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, salt, red chili flakes, and smoked paprika and mix thoroughly with your hands. If it seems too wet, add some more breadcrumbs. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for a half hour.

3. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and make slightly larger than golf ball sized meatballs with your hands. Place them on the tray an inch or two apart. You should be able to get 16 meatballs out of this recipe.

4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, turn them over and let cook for another 5 in the oven. While they are cooking, do step 5.

5. In a saucepan on medium add the olive oil and the dried chili flakes. Let the cook a for about 15 seconds, until fragrant. Add the garlic and after another 15 seconds add in all the chopped tomatoes and give it a good stir.

6. Simmer the saucepan on low until the meatballs are done in the oven. When the meatballs are ready, pull them out, add them to the sauce, and agitate the pan to coat.

meatballs arrabbiata

Notes

You can of course just make normal meatballs. Any type is fine, as the sauce itself is quite strong. I just had some leftover caramelized onion meatballs from when I made them for their own signature recipe, and wanted to get another recipe post out of it.

If you boil some pasta while you are making the meatballs and sauce you can basically have Spaghetti and Meatballs All’Arrabbiata, which is a classic Italian-American dish. The reason being is that spaghetti AND meatballs in the same dish is not really traditionally Italian, but it did grow to popularity in New York and New Jersey in the 1950’s.

Recipe

Meatballs Arrabbiata

A fusion of two of my most popular recipes, caramelized onion meatballs, and arrabbiata sauce. Together they make a delicious combination.
Course Appetizer, Sauce, Side Dish, Tapas
Cuisine American, Fusion, Italian
Keyword Meatballs Arrabbiata
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16 meatballs

Ingredients

Caramelized Onion Meatballs

  • 400 grams Pork minced
  • 150 grams Caramelized Onions about 8-10 onions worth
  • 100 grams Breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 large Egg
  • Salt to taste

Arrabbiata Sauce

  • 200 grams San Marzano Tomatoes chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions

  • This recipe assumes you've already made or bought caramelized onions, but if you haven't, I used 10 medium yellow onions for this recipe, which resulted in about 150 grams of caramelized onions. I cook them extremely slowly in my dutch oven on the lowest flame my burner has. They are dressed with a little olive oil and 60 ml of water and allowed to sweat for as long as possible. I mix them up every 15 minutes or so until they are about 80% reduced, then I watch them carefully stirring often so they do not burn until they are reduced to 10% from starting volume. You can see my full guide to caramelizing onions here.
  • In a bowl add the pork, caramelized onions, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, salt, red chili flakes, and smoked paprika and mix thoroughly with your hands. If it seems too wet, add some more breadcrumbs. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for a half hour.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and make slightly larger than golf ball sized meatballs with your hands. Place them on the tray an inch or two apart. You should be able to get 16 meatballs out of this recipe.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, turn them over and let cook for another 5 in the oven. While they are cooking, do step 5.
  • In a saucepan on medium add the olive oil and the dried chili flakes. Let the cook a for about 15 seconds, until fragrant. Add the garlic and after another 15 seconds add in all the chopped tomatoes and give it a good stir.
  • Simmer the saucepan on low until the meatballs are done in the oven. When the meatballs are ready, pull them out, add them to the sauce, and agitate the pan to coat.

Notes

You can of course just make normal meatballs. Any type is fine, as the sauce itself is quite strong. I just had some leftover caramelized onion meatballs from when I made them for their own signature recipe, and wanted to get another recipe post out of it.
 
If you boil some pasta while you are making the meatballs and sauce you can basically have Spaghetti and Meatballs All'Arrabbiata, which is a classic Italian-American dish. The reason being is that spaghetti AND meatballs in the same dish is not really traditionally Italian, but it did grow to popularity in New York and New Jersey in the 1950's.
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