Neighborhood pizza kitchen Ghisallo in Santa Monica has more than just pizza. Yes, their delicious wood-fired pizzas are a must-have. But the chef-driven restaurant, which opened in September, also has seafood, ribs and the sharable polpette, a beef and pork meatball dish that you don’t necessarily have to share. Ghisallo’s Executive Chef David Rodriguez shares his Italian meatball recipe so you can attempt the dish at home.
Pomodoro for meatballs
2 cans Bianca DiNapoli organic whole tomatoes (crushed with hand or with whisk)
1 bunch basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
In a sauce pot pour the olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic with kosher salt and black pepper. Be very careful not to get color; you just want to sweat out the veggies until they release their aromas. About 10 minutes on medium to medium/ low heat.
Once the veggies are soft and translucent, add the whole tomatoes that you have crushed by hand.
Simmer this sauce covered with lid for 35 -40 minutes on low heat. Reserve sauce for the meatballs.
Beef grass fed chuck, ground, 90/10
Organic pork butt, ground
3 large brown eggs
1 cup Ricotta cheese, drained in strainer for a half hour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped fine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated on microplane or store bought
2 oz. panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed with mortar and pestle or spice grinder
Start this recipe by making the panade, which is the eggs, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, kosher salt, black pepper and ground up fennel seeds.
Mix the meat and the herbs together, and combine thoroughly to the panade mix. Once the mix has combined well and it looks evenly distributed you are ready to ball up the meatballs.
Using a scale, weigh out the balls into 2 oz. balls and roll tightly in between your hands. Grease a sheet pan. Once rolled, cool down in the fridge so they remain tight when cooked.
Bake in the oven at 400-degree pre-heated oven and roast for 8 minutes, or just until you begin to see some liquid coming out of the meatballs. The internal temperature should not exceed 155 degrees.
Once roasted, place meatballs into sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes at a very low simmer.
Enjoy with pasta, or a meatballs sub or just have them with some fresh bread and olive oil.
Ghisallo is located at 1622 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.