3120 S 20th St Phila, PA 19145 215.755.7180 SINCE 1993
Courtesy of Eleanor Casciato
Meatballs are a staple in nearly every Italian home yet every household seems to make them just a little bit different. My mother, Maria Perri, taught me my meatball recipe. I learned by watching her and helping her when given the chance. Her golden rule was to always make sure that Italian bread was used in the meatballs. She thought the bread added more flavor than just using breadcrumbs. I remember being sent to the corner store to buy day old bread for her meatballs. Day old bread was what my mom wanted to use because she wanted the bread to start off hard and firm. She didn’t use all of the Italian bread. She always cut off the crust and used only the inside of the bread. She then softened the bread by adding milk and mixing it all together. When it comes to the ground meat in the meatballs, I prefer to use a mix of
ground beef, pork and veal, and then add sausage, as well. I think the combination brings out the flavor. I am also not shy about adding cheese. There should always be plenty of cheese. When rolling the mixture into meatballs, my little tip is to keep your hands wet. It makes it easier to roll. When cooking the meatballs, I prefer to use an electric fry pan because it helps cook everything evenly. My best friend makes her meatballs in the oven but I have never done it that way. Again, lots of different ways to make meatballs! My family always asks me to make my meatballs for our family gatherings. I love making them for the family and I love that the meal brings our family together. My children and grandchildren enjoy stealing the meatballs right out of the frying pan as I cook. I have to admit that they are really good that way. I hope you and your family enjoy my meatball recipe, too.
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Meatball Ingredients (to make 12 meatballs) ➜ 1 lb ground meat (mix of beef, pork & veal) ➜ 1/2 lb Italian sweet sausage (no casing - broken into small pieces) ➜ 1 loaf of Italian bread
(day old & sliced) ➜ 1/2 cup milk ➜ 2 eggs ➜ 1 cup grated Locatelli cheese ➜ 4 garlic cloves (chopped very fine)
➜ 1/2 cup fresh dry parsley ➜ 1 teaspoon salt ➜ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ➜ 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions In a large bowl, add and mix these ingredients one at a time and then mix after each ingredient is added in this order: ➜ Inside only of the sliced Italian bread ➜ Milk – mix with bread to soften ➜ chopped gar-
lic gloves ➜ Grated Locatelli cheese ➜ Fresh dry parsley ➜ 2 eggs
Once all of the ingredients are mixed together well, roll mixture into approximately 12 medium sized balls and set aside. Next step is to prepare the electric frying pan. Pour olive oil into pan and preheat to 350 degrees. When
➜ Salt & Pepper ➜ Ground meat mixture ➜ Sweet Italian sausage
pan is hot, place meatballs one by one into the pan. Brown the meatballs on one side and then turn to brown the other side. When the entire meatball is brown and cooked, remove from pan. Enjoy as is or add to your gravy.
Editor’s Note: Eleanor Casciato, 88, grew up on Clarion Street in St. Rita’s parish. Her story – Growing Up on Clarion Street – appeared in our summer issue, which so many of our readers enjoyed. She ended her story saying ‘I still make a pretty mean meatball, so if you ever need a good meatball recipe, just let me know!’ Of course, we took her up on her offer.
PRH Signature Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Renzo Masi Chianti Rufina Riserva 2014 / $12
| rowhome magazine | 57
October / November / December 2017