A friend of mine has had some serious back pain for the past month and was no longer able to walk.  She had a CAT scan and has been diagnosed with some very serious back problems.  She is literally laid out, and the pain medication she has been given is only enough to get her to the bathroom and back to her spot on the floor.  Arthritis, herniated disks, bone calcification, and degenerative disk failure….the damage is quite unbelievable for a fit 34-year-old.   My fingers are crossed for her today as she goes for an MRI, my hope is that she gets in with a wonderful specialist who can fix her up as good as new in no time at all.

Until she’s better, all of us friends have been pitching in trying to help her get the kids to school, keep up with the housework and feed the family.  I LOVE to cook so decided my contribution would be to make a bunch of frozen meals so her hubby could just pop them in the oven when he gets home from work.   I made Chicken pot pie’s, Cannelloni and Meatballs.   Everything was good but I have to say that even I was surprised by how good the meatballs were.  I made enough for her family, my family and my parents so the recipe below makes LOTS of meatballs (They freeze great!).

Mama Mia Meatball Recipe:
1.5 pounds of Ground Beef
1.5 pounds of Ground Pork
2 Onions diced and sautéed in butter
5 cloves of garlic sautéed with the onions in the butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
4 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk

I used a stand mixer to combine all ingredients however, I’m sure by hand is just as effective.  Make sure its mixed very well.  I rolled out about 2.5 inch balls and browned them in 1/2 inch olive oil.   Once they were browned I placed them on paper towel to blot off the oil then placed them in the sauce (recipe below) to finish cooking.

Sauce: I’m pretty sure this is just as important as the meatballs – NO RAGU HERE!
4 Can’s Premium tomato’s (The tomato is key to a good sauce, I use Unico brand San Marzano Type Tomatoes (Premium Collection).  Aurora foods also makes a good canned tomato.  It’s best that they are packed in Puree vs. juices / water.   If you are fortunate enough to have Italian relatives I’m sure home-made jarred tomatoes are BEST!
2 diced onion’s
4 cloves of garlic Pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a large pot (enough to fit sauce and all meatballs)
Using a food processor (or rough chop) the can’s of tomato.  I like to leave some chunks of tomato instead of pureeing them.  Add tomato’s to the pot.  season with salt and pepper to taste.

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