Recipe: Meatballs with tomato & zucchini

A fresh take on the traditional spaghetti companion.
meatballs-recipe Recipe: Meatballs with tomato & zucchini


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef 
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


1 Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables soften and most of the juices have cooked off, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool.

2 Combine the beef and veal in a large bowl. Add the Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, cooled vegetables and some salt and pepper and gently work everything together using your hands or two forks. Do not overmix – the mixture will be quite soft. Shape the meat into 1 1/2″ balls, cover and refrigerate them for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.

3 Heat 1/4″ of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs, being careful not to crowd them. Cook on all sides until browned, then cover the pan and lower the heat to finish cooking, 6 to 8 minutes total. The meatballs may lose their shape and collapse a little as they cook – that’s okay. Transfer the meatballs to paper towels to drain. Cook the remaining meatballs, adding more oil as needed. Serve with fresh pasta and Quick Tomato Sauce.

Serves: 8

pasta-recipes-book Recipe: Meatballs with tomato & zucchini


Excerpted from Food52 A New Way to Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Recipes Copyright © 2016 Amanda Hesser, Photography copyright © 2016 Rocky Luten and James Ransom. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House. All rights reserved.


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